Right to education, right to freedom, right to choose a religion, etc. We all learned about these Fundamental Rights in school. As you all know, our constitution gives all citizens these basic rights to ensure that they live a life without discrimination or oppression. Well, similarly, there are rights for married Indian women that ensure their well-being and prevent them from being oppressed.
While we truly hope you will lead a happy married life, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
From the right to a conjugal home to the right to live in dignity, here are some 7 Rights of a Married Woman In India.
Right to Matrimonial Home
A wife has the legal right to live in a matrimonial house, even after the husband dies. Even if the house is not owned by the husband or belongs to his parents. There isn’t any directive in the Hindu Marriage Act that a married woman cannot stay at her parental house. She can lawfully stay, if & when she wants to.
Right to Property
A daughter (married or not) has equal rights to inherit her father’s property. A woman has equal legal rights to inherit her husband’s property if he hasn’t prepared a will or hasn’t excluded her from it. If he remarries without dissolving the 1st marriage, the rights to the property belong to the 1st wife.
Right to Abortion
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 gives a woman full autonomy to abort a child without the permission of the husband. The upper limit of getting a child aborted has been raised to 24 weeks.
Right to Claim Child’s Custody
The Guardian & Wards Act of 1890 gives equal custodial rights and duties to both parents. However, if the child is below 5 years, the mother has superior rights. A woman (employed or unemployed) can claim the custody of her children after divorce/ separation. She can always claim maintenance from her husband.
Right to Seek Maintenance & Alimony
Section 125 of CrPC gives a married woman the legal right to seek maintenance from her husband for a lifetime. If the marriage fails, the HMA of 1955 provides women with the legal rights to claim maintenance of herself &her children from the husband during (interim maintenance) & after divorce (permanent maintenance).
Right to Report Domestic Violence
A woman can report domestic violence under the Under Domestic Violence Act. This act criminalizes physical, emotional, sexual, economic & other forms of ill-treatment. She can claim protection, maintenance, custody, compensation & continue to live in the same house.
Right to Divorce
Section 13 of HMA 1955 gives women the legal right to file for a divorce without the consent of the husband. The divorce can be filed on the grounds of adultery, cruelty, desertion, thrown out of marital home, mental disorder etc.