top of page
  • Writer's pictureNyayasastra

Equal Rights for Women at Workplace in India: A Comprehensive Analysis

1. Introduction: An Overview of Women's Rights at Work

Women's rights at work in India are secured through a labyrinth of constitutional provisions, legislative statutes, and judicial pronouncements. The Constitution of India, the bedrock of the country's legal system, enshrines key principles of equality and non-discrimination, which serve as the foundation for women's rights in the workforce. The Directive Principles of State Policy and the Fundamental Rights ensure that Indian women enjoy equal opportunities and are protected against discrimination at the workplace.

2. Constitutional Safeguards: Equality Enshrined

Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of laws. Article 15 specifically prohibits discrimination on grounds of sex, among other things. Article 16 promises equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. Together, these provisions ensure a legal framework that forbids discrimination against women in employment and promotes their equal participation.

3. Statutory Protections: Legislations Ensuring Equality

The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

This act prohibits wage discrimination based on sex. It mandates equal remuneration to men and women for same or similar work. It was enacted to ensure gender equality in matters of wages and remuneration.

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961

This act guarantees paid maternity leave and benefits to women, protecting their right to work while ensuring their well-being during childbirth. It recognizes the physical demands and challenges faced by women during pregnancy and childbirth, providing a legal safeguard to balance their work and personal life.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

This Act is an essential legal tool designed to prevent and redress sexual harassment at the workplace. It upholds the woman's right to a safe and respectful work environment, free from harassment.

4. Judicial Pronouncements: Courts Upholding Women's Rights at Work

Air India vs. Nargesh Meerza, 1981

The Supreme Court, in this case, struck down a regulation that allowed termination of Air India hostesses' service upon marriage within the first four years or upon first pregnancy, calling it "grossly discriminatory and violative of the Constitution".

Apparel Export Promotion Council vs. A.K. Chopra, 1999

In this landmark case, the Supreme Court observed that sexual harassment of a female at the place of work is incompatible with the dignity and honour of a woman and needs to be eliminated. The case laid the groundwork for the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013.

5. Conclusion: Equal Rights for Women at Workplace

While the Indian legal system provides a robust framework for ensuring equal rights for women at work, societal norms, stereotypes, and biases often create hurdles in its effective implementation. The key to actualizing these rights lies in spreading awareness, empowering women, and fostering a culture of respect and equality at the workplace. The journey towards achieving gender parity at work is an ongoing one, demanding concerted and consistent efforts from all stakeholders in society.

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Nyayasastra Cover_edited.jpg

Try Nyayasastra Today!

Fill your details and be the first to experience India's First AI Powered Law Learning Engine

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page