Gender Equality: Provide Women With Freedom But Not At The Cost Men's Oppression

Gender equality is about providing both men and women equal rights and equal freedom to exercise them. It is not about empowering the oppressed at the cost of oppressing others.

Rudrani Gupta
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Our country provides a lot of rights to women to claim justice. But it is undeniable that women lack the freedom to exercise those rights. Many women are unaware of their rights, while others are not able to take the step because of the oppressive society. And so when the government issues allowances to women and prioritises their concerns, women receive support and justice without being oppressed. However, this doesn’t mean that courts should ignore men's concerns. This wouldn’t be a step towards women's empowerment or gender equality but a step towards establishing another unequal society. The difference would be that the oppressed will gain power over the others.

Delhi High Court recently ruled that in the transfer of the cases of matrimonial dispute, women’s concerns and convenience will be prioritised over men’s. The court said, "The exercise of the jurisdiction while transferring the petition particularly in the matrimonial disputes, has to be undertaken in such a manner that there should not be any inconvenience caused to either of the parties. It is a settled practice that in such matters, the convenience of the wife has to be seen more. The request of the petitioner-wife can be declined only if there are weighty reasons behind the same." The judgement was passed while dealing with the petition of a 68-year-old woman who wanted her case of maintenance, registered under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, to be transferred from Principal Judge, Family Court at Dwarka to the Principal Judge, Family Court at Karkardooma.

While her 72-year-old husband claimed that his wife was enjoying all the benefits of maintenance and that her move to transfer the case was an attempt to harass him. However, the court didn’t find any reason to not allow the transfer of the woman’s case and hence allowed it.

We don’t know the details of the case and neither do we know what happened between the couple. But at least we can conclude from this case that courts are now considering women’s concerns and addressing them. However, there is a bias lurking. Even though the court is favouring women, is it right to do so at the cost of men’s oppression? Is it right for courts to be biased towards women while dealing with cases involving men too? Just because women are the oppressed section does it mean men’s rights should be taken away to give women their freedom? Why should achieving gender equality require a turn of the table in which women get to rule?

Gender equality is about providing both men and women equal rights and equal freedom to exercise them. It is about maintaining a balance between life and the freedom of every gender. It is not about empowering the oppressed at the cost of oppressing others.

I am not denying the fact that women need society’s support to empower themselves. They need to be provided with support and quick justice so that they feel free to raise their voices against oppression. Especially in matrimonial disputes, women are oppressed in most cases. They lack ">financial independence which becomes a major obstacle in raising voices and fighting cases. They also lack social support to be able to question marriage and walk out with pride.

But these are the basic rights of women that they are deprived of. These are not special requirements that need biased treatment. It will be enough if society just provides women with the freedom to access their basic rights. Just like men can freely walk out of a marriage without facing financial issues or social scrutiny, women too should be able to do that.  Just like men find it easy to travel in general coaches of trains and metros without fearing harassment, it should be so for women too. There is no need to give extra favours to women because that will not only make women indigent of biased behaviour but also encourage another imbalanced society where men face problems because women get favours.


So dear society, gender equality can be achieved if women are provided with equal rights as men. It can be achieved by treating both men and women equally. Yes, there are situations in which women fall weak because of the dominance of men. But this is what we have to change. Neither men should feel the privilege of dominating women nor women should be afraid of suing men who dominate them. There is no need to provide extra support and favours to women because that just shows that women are actually weak and are dependent on support to uplift themselves. Just providing them equal freedom, equal rights and equal treatment is enough to uplift them as high as men.

Suggested Reading: Achieving Full Gender Equality Will Take 300 Years At Current Rate: UN Report


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