Media Law and the Rights of Women in India


Women’s rights law, as a time period, usually refers back to the freedoms inherently possessed by

women and women of all ages, which can be institutionalized, unnoticed or illegitimately
suppressed by way of regulation, custom, and conduct in a specific society. These liberties are
grouped together and differentiated from broader notions of human rights because they
frequently vary from the freedoms inherently possessed with the aid of or recognized for men and boys,
and because activism surrounding this issue claims an inherent historical and traditional
bias against the exercising of rights through ladies. Women

Issues normally related to notions of girls’s rights consist of, although are not
restrained to, the proper: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to vote (widely wide-spread suffrage); to
maintain public office; to paintings; to fair wages or same pay; to very own assets; to schooling; to
serve inside the military; to go into into criminal contracts; and to have marital, parental and
religious rights. Today, women in maximum countries can vote, very own belongings, work in lots of
exceptional professions, and hold public workplace. These are a number of the rights of the cutting-edge
lady. But girls have no longer usually been allowed to do these items, just like the
experiences of most of the people of men at some point of history. Women and their supporters have
waged and in a few places preserve to salary lengthy campaigns to win the equal rights as
contemporary guys and be considered as equals in society.


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Evolution of ladies’ rights in India

Position of girls in ancient India

The position of girls due to the fact lengthy has been pitiable in all components of existence and her
subjection with the aid of males has been at some stage in a depend on history. She couldn’t experience
unbiased, and act as so, barring a few exceptions.

The girls in Vedic period enjoyed identical fame with guys and independence in motion.
Not simplest they had the area of honor but were entitled to take part freely in social
sports. They have been allowed to pursue the educational attainments and shared the circle of relatives
life with full power. They were free to select their conjugal companion and exercised unfastened
will in stepping into the matrimonial bondage.

The privileges that ladies loved inside the Vedic period were quick lived and the position
of women began to say no from the latter Vedic duration onwards. Post Vedic length saw
the emergence of Manusmrithi. The injunctions of Manu merged the wife’s individuality
with that of her husband and encouraged strict seclusions for ladies and rigorous
subject for widows. While glorifying motherhood and allowing ladies all freedom in
the management of the household, he accredited baby marriage and polygamy. In the
Dharma-shastra ladies are unambiguously equated with the sudras. Even the Gita
locations women, Vaisyas and sudras within the equal class and describes them as being of Rights
sinful birth. Moreover ladies lead a life in abject misery. The ladies had been denied the
right of equal opportunity inside the area of education as well as in employment. The
inhuman device of .Sati. Become standard as a obligatory custom. Widows have been no longer handiest
precluded from remarrying, but they had been additionally now not allowed to live after the demise of their
husband. There additionally existed the machine of Purda, had been the women had to cowl her face
and frame with a gown whilst she became to be visible in public. These have been no longer most effective deprivation
of the rights of ladies but were additionally social evils which plagued the historical Indian
society. The other evils which affected the ladies in ancient India have been baby marriage,
female infanticide, Dowry system and many others.

During the British rule, many new regulations have been being legislated to abolish sure social
evils that have the direct effect on the rights of the girls. Many social reformers at some point in
this period inclusive of Raja Ram Mohan Roy worked difficult for the abolition of the system
of Sati and reinstated in its location the proper of widows to remarry. More emphasis changed into
given to offer opportunities for enhancing the plight of women like improving
opportunities for girl schooling and so on.

After Independence, most of the social evils like Sati machine, child marriage, woman
infanticide etc which affected the rights of women adversely had been abolished. More legal guidelines
have been enacted to offer girls equal popularity with guy inside the field of schooling and
employment opportunities, legal guidelines had been also enacted for stopping discrimination towards
girls on the basis of gender. Constitution of India additionally provides for provisions so as
to shield the rights of ladies. Reservations were made within the public sector to increase
the ratio of women populace and to bring it in par with the male population. The Indian
penal code has also adopted stringent measures to deal with crimes towards women. Penal
punishments had been integrated for handling the crimes of rape, marital violence
in opposition to girls, prostitution and many others. The Dowry Prohibition act additionally offers for punishment
in giving and accepting of Dowry. Recently a invoice became enacted to save you harassment of
girls of their paintings places.

International conventions for the protection and promoting of girls rights

The Convention at the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination towards Women

(CEDAW), adopted in 1979 through the UN General Assembly, is regularly described as an
international invoice of rights for girls. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines
what constitutes discrimination against women and units up an schedule for national movement
to stop such discrimination.

The Convention defines discrimination against women as “…Any distinction, exclusion
or restrict made on the premise of intercourse which has the effect or cause of impairing or
nullifying the popularity, leisure or exercising by ladies, irrespective of their marital
repute, on a foundation of equality of ladies and men, of human rights and fundamental
freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or another area.”

By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to adopt a sequence of
measures to end discrimination against girls in all paperwork, together with:
To contain the precept of equality of ladies and men in their felony machine, abolish
all discriminatory laws and undertake suitable ones prohibiting discrimination against
girls; Establish tribunals and different public establishments to make certain the effective safety
of girls in opposition to discrimination; and to ensure removal of all acts of discrimination
towards ladies with the aid of persons, agencies or companies.

The Convention offers the basis for understanding equality between men and women
through ensuring women’s identical get admission to to, and identical possibilities in, political and public
life — consisting of the proper to vote and to stand for election — as well as training, fitness
and employment. States parties comply with take all suitable measures, along with
legislation and transient unique measures, in order that women can revel in all their human
rights and fundamental freedoms.Law

The Convention is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of
girls and targets subculture and way of life as influential forces shaping gender roles and
own family relations. It affirms girls’ rights to accumulate, exchange or retain their nationality
and the nationality of their children. States parties also conform to take appropriate measures
towards all varieties of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

Countries that have ratified or acceded to the Convention are legally sure to place its
provisions into practice. They are also dedicated to publishing country wide reviews, as a minimum
every four years, on measures they have got taken to conform with their treaty obligations.

United Nations Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict

Bearing in thoughts the want to provide special protection to ladies and children belonging
to the civilian population, solemnly pronounces this Declaration on the Protection of

Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict and requires the strict
observance of the Declaration by means of all Member States:

1. Attacks and bombings at the civilian populace, inflicting incalculable struggling,
particularly on girls and youngsters, who are the most prone contributors of the
population, shall be prohibited, and such acts will be condemned.

2. The use of chemical and bacteriological guns in the course of military operations
constitutes one of the maximum flagrant violations of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, the
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the standards of international humanitarian regulation and
inflicts heavy losses on civilian populations, inclusive of defenceless ladies and youngsters,
and will be severely condemned.

3. All States shall abide fully by way of their duties below the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and
the Geneva Conventions of 1949, in addition to different instruments of worldwide regulation
relative to respect for human rights in armed conflicts, which offer important ensures
for the safety of women and youngsters.

4. All efforts shall be made with the aid of States involved in armed conflicts, navy operations in
overseas territories or military operations in territories still underneath colonial domination to
spare girls and kids from the ravages of struggle. All the essential steps shall be taken
to ensure the prohibition of measures inclusive of persecution, torture, punitive measures,
degrading remedy and violence, especially in opposition to that a part of the civilian populace
that consists of ladies and youngsters.

5. All kinds of repression and merciless and inhuman treatment of girls and youngsters,
which includes imprisonment, torture, shooting, mass arrests, collective punishment,
destruction of dwellings and forcible eviction, devoted by using belligerents within the course of
navy operations or in occupied territories shall be taken into consideration crook.

6. Women and kids belonging to the civilian population and finding themselves in
situations of emergency and armed struggle in the warfare for peace, self-determination,

countrywide liberation and independence, or who live in occupied territories,
shall not be deprived of refuge, food, medical aid or different inalienable rights, in
accordance with the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child or other
units of global law.

United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence in opposition to Women

The declaration particularly ambitions at protecting women from torture. For the functions of this
Declaration, the time period “violence in opposition to girls” way any act of gender-based violence
that results in, or is probable to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or struggling
to women, inclusive of threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty,
whether happening in public or in personal existence.

Violence towards women will be understood to encompass, however no longer be limited to, the

( a ) Physical, sexual and mental violence taking place in the own family, consisting of
battering, sexual abuse of lady kids within the household, dowry-associated violence,
marital rape, woman genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to ladies,
non-spousal violence and violence associated with exploitation;

( b ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence taking place inside the widespread
community, such as rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at paintings, in
instructional establishments and someplace else, trafficking in women and compelled prostitution;

( c ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State,
anywhere it takes place.

The Declaration aims at making the arena a safer destination for girls and to experience
their rights without any encumbrances.

ACLU Women’s Rights Project

Since 1972, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project has worked to empower ladies and
improve equality. Many human beings, earlier than and in view that, have contributed to our effort.
The Women’s Rights Project makes a specialty of four core areas:


WRP advocates on behalf of low-salary immigrant women workers, work to cast off
welfare disparities, and seeks to give up a place of job discrimination.

Violence Against Women
WRP is devoted to advancing battered women’s civil rights, supporting girls in their
efforts to preserve themselves and their children safe, and hard the housing and
employment discrimination skilled by way of such a lot of battered ladies, specifically low earnings and ladies of color.

Criminal Justice
WRP addresses the harms to ladies and women stuck up in the criminal and juvenile
justice structures, inclusive of their situations of confinement, and the effect of sentencing
and incarceration guidelines for women and their children.

WRP is dedicated to ensuring that public schools do no longer turn out to be intercourse-segregated and that
ladies and boys acquire equal academic opportunities.

Legislations in India for the Protection of Women
The fundamental girls precise legislation in India are the following:

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956- The Immoral Traffic act aimed toward
preventing immoral activities the use of ladies. It offers punishment for women
trafficking, wearing on the enterprise of prostitution, preserving a brothel etc.

Role of Media inside the protection of girls’s rights

Media plays a totally essential function in growing consciousness the various girls network
approximately their inherent rights, which they have been disadvantaged of for lots centuries. Media plays
the position of a saviour in whom the power to guard and beautify the rights of the ladies is
arrogated. Media via its visible broadcasting should project the abject and depressing
lives and residing situations of women in rural India. More documentaries and screen plays
projecting ladies.S rights need to be aired through visual media. Media plays an
critical role in coordinating the activities of social people who play an critical role
in striving to set up women.S rights. Print media thru various journals meant
completely for ladies involves an area on this guys ruled world. Media has certain
boards in particular for the advertising and advancement of the interest of women folks.
Media thru its various businesses facilitates to agitate and voice against any intrusion into
the rights of the women. In the contemporary age crimes against women have also have become very
rampant, media became an lively tool in voicing in opposition to such acts and bringing such unlawful
acts to the eyes of the involved authorities and accordingly maintaining the difficulty as a hot spot
which calls for urgent interest. Media additionally acts as an effective device in instructing humans
in opposition to the commission of such atrocious acts against the girls community and therefore
preserving their purity and sacredness. Media additionally thru diverse debates and
discussions help the legislators in figuring out new regions for legislating legal guidelines for the
safety of girls.

Negative effects of media at the rights of ladies

Media has both positive in addition to poor effects on the rights of women. Media has
been a purpose for the boom in infringement of the right to privacy of a female. Media
thru obscene guide and visual presentations have demeaned the honor of
women inside the cutting-edge society. Modern films have a tendency to glorify violence and as a end result
infuse such ideas within the minds of the teenagers. Media has played a full-size role within the
merchandising and movement of pornographic substances which in turn will bring about
trafficking of women, flesh exchange and so forth. Media is a corner stone in shaping the lives of the
new generation, as majority of the present day era are glued to them. Media via
films and publications have a tendency to considerably revolutionise the minds of the human beings with out
their knowledge and cognizance. Hence there has to be a strict test and manipulate at the
contents which can be aired and published thru the media. It become this concept which paved
the way for the improvement of media laws.

Media legal guidelines and its Evolution in India

In India the Press is free but concern to surely reasonable regulations imposed by way of the
Constitution of India, 1950, as amended (“Constitution”). Before the impact of
globalization become felt, the mass media turned into absolutely managed via the authorities, which
permit the media assignment only what the government desired the general public to peer and in a manner in
which it desired the public to see it. However, with the onset of globalization and
privatization, the state of affairs has passed through a humongous exchange.

Before the discovery of conversation satellites, communique turned into especially inside the
shape of country wide media, both public and personal, in India and abroad. Then came the
‘transnational media’ with the progress of communique technologies like Satellite
transport and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), the final results: local TV, worldwide
films and worldwide records structures.

In such an era of media upsurge, it will become an absolute necessity to impose positive prison
tests and boundaries on transmission and communique. In the due direction of this newsletter,
we might discuss the numerous elements of media and the applicable legal tests and bounds
governing them.

Historical Perspective of Mass Media Laws

Mass Media laws in India have an extended records and are deeply rooted inside the united states.S
colonial enjoy below British rule. The earliest regulatory measures may be traced
lower back to 1799 whilst Lord Wellesley promulgated the Press Regulations, which had the
effect of enforcing pre-censorship on an infant newspaper publishing enterprise. The onset
of 1835 noticed the promulgation of the Press Act, which undid most of, the repressive
features of earlier legislations on the problem.

Thereafter on 18th June 1857, the authorities surpassed the .Gagging Act., which among
various other things, introduced compulsory licensing for the proudly owning or jogging of
printing presses; empowered the government to restrict the ebook or flow of
any newspaper, ebook or different printed material and banned the publication or
dissemination of statements or news memories which had an inclination to cause a furore
in opposition to the authorities, thereby weakening its authority.

Then accompanied the.Press and Registration of Books Act. In 1867 and which keeps to
remain in pressure till date. Governor General Lord Lytton promulgated the .Vernacular
Press Act. Of 1878 allowing the government to clamp down on the publication of
writings deemed seditious and to impose punitive sanctions on printers and publishers
who failed to fall in line. In 1908, Lord Minto promulgated the .Newspapers (Incitement
to Offences) Act, 1908 which authorized nearby authorities to take action towards the editor
of any newspaper that posted count number deemed to represent an incitement to insurrection.
However, the most widespread day in the records of Media Regulations became the twenty-sixth of
January 1950 . The day on which the Constitution turned into brought into pressure. The colonial
enjoy of the Indians made them comprehend the important importance of the .Freedom of
Press.. Such freedom turned into consequently integrated in the Constitution; to empower the
Press to disseminate knowledge to the masses and the Constituent Assembly accordingly,
determined to guard this .Freedom of Press. As a fundamental right. Although, the Indian
Constitution does now not expressly mention the liberty of the click, it’s far obvious that the
liberty of the press is covered in the freedom of speech and expression underneath Article 19
(1)(a). It is however pertinent to say that, such freedom isn’t absolute however is
certified by way of positive clearly described boundaries below Article 19(2) inside the pastimes of the

It is necessary to say here that, this freedom beneath Article 19(1)(a) is not only
cribbed, cabined and limited to newspapers and periodicals but additionally includes pamphlets,
leaflets, handbills, circulars and each form of guide which presents a automobile of
records and opinion:

Thus, although the liberty of the click is guaranteed as a essential right, it’s far
necessary for us to address the various legal guidelines governing the exceptional areas of media so as
to understand the vast expanse of media legal guidelines.

Regulations in print media
The Freedom Of Press and the Freedom Of Expression may be regarded because of the very foundation
of a democratic form of a presidency. Every commercial enterprise corporation is concerned inside the legal guidelines of
the state, the kingdom and the network in which it operates. Newspaper publishers locate
themselves extra .Hemmed in. With the aid of felony restrictions than many different businesses do.
Notwithstanding the reality that the freedom of press is covered by way of the Indian charter. The
numerous Acts, which must be considered when coping with the
rules imposed upon the Print Media, are:

_ The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 . This Act regulates printing presses
and newspapers and makes registration with an appointed Authority obligatory for all
printing presses.

_ _The Press (Objectionable Matters) Act, 1951 . This enactment presents in opposition to the
printing and publication of incitement to crime and different objectionable matters.

_ _The Newspaper (Prices and Pages) Act, 1956 . This statute empowers the Central
Government to regulate the price of newspapers with regards to the variety of pages and
size and additionally to regulate the allocation of area to be allowed for advertising be counted.

Regulations in broadcasting
The broadcast media turned into underneath whole monopoly of the Government of India. Private
organizations have been concerned simplest in industrial advertising and marketing and sponsorships of
programmes. However, in Secretary, Ministry of I&B v. CAB1, the Supreme Court certainly
differed from the aforementioned monopolistic method and emphasized that, each
citizen has a proper to telecast and broadcast to the visitors/listeners any crucial occasion
through electronic media, tv or radio and also supplied that the Government had
no monopoly over such digital media as such monopolistic electricity of the Government
turned into not referred to anywhere within the Constitution or in some other regulation prevailing within the
us of a.
This judgment, thus, delivered about a fantastic trade inside the position prevailing in the
broadcast media, and such quarter became open to the residents.
1 (1995) 2 SCC 161

Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 basically regulates the operation of
Cable Television within the territory of India and regulates the subscription costs and the whole
variety of general subscribers receiving programmes transmitted in the fundamental tier. In
pursuance of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2002, the
Central Government may additionally make it obligatory for every cable operator to transmit or
retransmit programme of any pay channel through an addressable system as and while the
Central Government so notifies. Such notification can also specify the variety of free to
air channels to be protected within the package deal of channels forming the fundamental carrier tier
film . India is one in every of the largest manufacturers of motion images in the international.
Encompassing 3 most important spheres of activity . Production, distribution and exhibition,
the enterprise has an all-India unfold, using lots of human beings and interesting
thousands and thousands each year. The numerous legal guidelines in force regulating the making and screening of
films are: –

The Cinematograph Act, 1952 . The Cinematograph Act of 1952 has been exceeded to
make provisions for a certification of cinematographed films for exhibitions via
Cinematograph. Under this Act, a Board of Film Censors (now renamed Central Board
of Film Certification) with advisory panels at local centres is empowered to look at
every film and sanction it whether or not for unrestricted exhibition or for exhibition confined
to adults. The Board is likewise empowered to refuse to sanction a movie for public exhibition.
In K. A. Abbas v. Union of India, the petitioner for the first time challenged the validity of
censorship as violative of his essential right of speech and expression. The Supreme
Court but observed that, pre-censorship of films underneath the Cinematograph Act was
justified underneath Article 19(2) on the ground that movies need to be treated one after the other from
other varieties of artwork and expression due to the fact a motion photo became able to stir up emotion
extra deeply and for that reason, classification of movies among two classes .A. (for adults best)
and .U. (for all) changed into delivered about2.
2 AIR 1971 SC 481

Advertising communique is a mix of arts and statistics subservient to moral standards. In
order to be client-oriented, advertisement will must be honest and moral. It
ought to not lie to the patron. If it so occurs, the credibility is misplaced.

In order to put in force an moral regulating code, the Advertising Standards Council of India
become installation. Inspired with the aid of a similar code of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) UK,
ASCI follows the following basic guidelines so that it will attain the acceptance of honest
advertising practices within the hobby of the purchaser: –

· To make certain the truthfulness and honesty of representations and claims made by using
classified ads and to safe protect towards deceptive advertising;

· To make certain that advertisement aren’t offensive to normally regular standards of public

· To shield in opposition to indiscriminate use of marketing for advertising of merchandise which
are appeared as unsafe to society or to individuals to a degree or of a kind which is
unacceptable to society at massive; and

· To ensure that advertisements examine equity in opposition so that the purchasers
need to be knowledgeable on alternatives inside the market places and canons of generally normal
aggressive behaviour in business are each served.

Media laws and its relation to the Rights of the Women