Legal Journey of Section 377- A Relentless Battle of Expression and Recognition

By Abhiudaya Verma, Research Associate, Policy

The legal fight in Singapore against Section 377A of Singapore Penal Code, which can be called a close counterpart of the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), is set to go further. On March 30th, 2020 the High Court of Singapore dismissed the plea to declare section 377A of Singapore Penal Code as unconstitutional. While upholding the law that criminalises homosexual activities between males in Singapore, the country’s Supreme Court judge also made few remarks in the Indian context saying ” I am unable to agree with the reasoning of the Indian Supreme Court given that the court appeared to have accepted a wider meaning of what constitutes “expression”, extending beyond verbal communication of ideas, opinions or beliefs”. The Indian Supreme Court on 6th September, 2018 ‘read down’ Section 377 of the IPC, making consensual sexual activity between adults no longer a criminal offence, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. For a country like India where “public decency” and “morality” have subjective interpretations and have time and again influenced court judgements, it was a fairly long and tough legal battle for arriving at this historic verdict. We have tried to trace the origins and the path that this legal battle took against Section 377 by enlisting a brief  history of its legal journey. (more…)

Right to Menstrual Health in India: From an Outdated Period Drama to Actionable Rights & Policies

The lack of constructive community dialogue in place proves to be the paramount reason behind the barrier in ensuring menstrual health. Giving menstrual health the precedence of a medical concern may prove to be a more tactical approach to the problem. However, in order to do so there is a pressing need for a safe space to be created for it to be socially addressed. This social mobilization may occur through interpersonal communication put in order by schools and communities which help girls in accepting menstruation as a natural process. (more…)

Sexuality Education in India: Curriculum in the Sheets, Silence in the Streets

Given the exponential level of population growth, and the fact that India is a developing nation with limited resources, there is an imminent need to reduce the population explosion. One way to go about it is by family planning. Another more effective way of going about it is by educating children about the various methods of contraceptives, reproductive health, and the consequences of sex.

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Disha Bill, 2019: Deterrence for Sexual Offenders?

By Yash Jain, WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata

Awakened by the heinous and brutal rape in the outskirts of Hyderabad that shook the entire country and made the legislatures realize the need for strict and stringent laws for the punishment of rape and other sexual offences, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly passed the Disha Bill, 2019. The Bill, derives its name from the given name to the victim, a veterinary doctor who was raped and murdered in the incident. Also known as the AP Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2019, this Bill seeks to amend the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, for ‘heinous offences of rape’ and the Indian Penal Code, 1860, to strengthen the provisions relating to crimes against women and children. 

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Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana: A gratifying change for Indian women farmers

By Bhuvaneswari Ramesh, Central University of Kerala.

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) is a sub-component of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) announced by the Government of India in 2011, aimed at improving the participation of women in agriculture and to help them achieve socio-economic development. (more…)

One Stop Centres: A well intentioned Scheme gone awry?

By Ria Goyal, Ambedkar University, Delhi.

The One Stop Centre Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. One Stop Centres set up under this initiative  are to be funded from the INR 1000 Crore Nirbhaya Fund which was set up in 2013 to fund various schemes related to women’s safety. These OSCs are meant to provide integrated support and assistance under one roof, to women who have experienced violence in the public or private spheres like family, community or workspace. The violence can be of any kind, including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic abuse, and women are to be provided integrated support regardless of their age, class, caste, education status, marital status, race, and culture. Such support includes access to a range of services like medical, legal, psychological and counseling support. Further, women facing violence in the form of attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honor related crimes, acid attacks or witch-hunting, who approach the OSC, are entitled to the provision of specialized services. (more…)

Surrogacy Bill 2019

Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019: An ambiguous approach to an apparent problem?

By Tanu Singh, Ramjas College, New Delhi.

Surrogacy, a highly controversial issue beset with many ethical, social, and legal dilemmas, has finally met its fate in the light of the new regulation Bill passed by the Indian government. On August 5, Lok Sabha passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 which was introduced by the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on 15th July and is still up for passage in the Upper House. (more…)

Assessing the Menstrual Health of Tribal Adolescent Girls in Gujarat

This Research Brief provides a holistic view of the problems faced by tribal adolescent girls during their menstruation and further investigate the causes related to their higher vulnerability towards encountering Reproductive and Urinary Tract Infections. Additionally, it reflects on the impact of societal norms and community attitudes towards menstruation and Read more…