Crimes Against Women(GS-Course Material)-2020-21(UPSC)


Crimes against women are as old as civilization and equally ancient are the efforts to combat and arrest them. These efforts have not succeeded and crimes are still maintaining their upward trend. In many parts of our country, women are still considered to be a burdensome. Discrimination begins at birth or even before it and continues till she is dead.

  • There were 3,78,277 cases of crimes against women in 2018, up by 7% from 3,59,849 in 2017.
  • The highest number was in UP (59,445) followed by Maharashtra (35,497) and West Bengal (30,394). Assam (166) followed by Delhi (149) had the highest rate of crimes against women.
  • Overall crime rate dropped from 388.6 in 2017 to 383.5 in 2018, rate of crimes against women rose from 57.9 to 58.8.
  • The majority of crimes against women were under ‘Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives’ (31.9%) followed by ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ (27.6%), ‘Kidnapping & Abduction of Women’ (22.5%) and ‘Rape’ (10.3%).

Crimes include-

  • As recognized by NCRB
      • Rape
      • Kidnapping & abduction of women
      • Dowry
      • Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty
      • Insult to modesty
      • Cruelty by Husband or relatives
      • Trafficking
      • Sati
  • Others
      • Eve teasing
      • Asking for favour- like in the form of sexual or in other kind.
  • Social Causes-

      • Inferior status of women due to social conditioning
      • Patriarchal structure of society
      • Too much interference by the parents
      • Too stick a discipline- to not let her go without permission.
      • Alcohol
      • Immorality
      • Cruelty
      • Addiction to drugs
  • Psychological causes-

      • Role– considered suitable for domestic works and soft skills.
      • Separation– when couple resides separately due to earning/ livelihood.
      • Jealousy– due to empowerment, decision-making capacity, etc.
      • Suspicion– over character, relations, etc.
  • Economical causes-

      • Unemployment
      • Poverty
      • Expenses– for her basic needs like medical expenses.
  • Religious causes-

      • Rites and rituals
      • Customs
  • Legal causes-

      • Implementation issues– laws are poorly implemented by police, administration, etc.
      • Justice system– delays in sentencing and proceedings, etc.
  • Political causes-

      • Equality– considered inferior.
      • Participation– to not allow to participate in political processes.

Impact on women-

  • Social and psychological-

      • Role– it has become a convention for her to take care of household.
      • Inferiority complex– considers self as inferior to male.
      • On children– follows the same when grow up.
  • Economic-

      • Dependence
      • Basic needs
      • Education
  • Health-

      • Prevalence of many mental diseases, lifestyle diseases, etc.

Constitutional Protection-

  • Article 14– equality before law and equal protection of law.
  • Article 15– prohibits discrimination.
  • Article 16– prohibits discrimination in public employment.
  • Article 23– prohibits trafficking.
  • Article 39A– equal justice and free legal aid 
  • Article 40– reservation for women in Panchayats.
  • Article 42– maternity relief and humane work conditions.
  • Article 44– uniform civil code.

What government is doing?-

  • Integrated Safety Plan for Women
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandan Yojana
  • National Creche Scheme
  • National Nutrition Mission
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana
  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
  • One-stop Centre Scheme
  • Women Helpline Scheme
  • Ujjawala Scheme
  • Swadhar Greh Scheme
  • Mahila e-Haat
  • Rashtriya Mahila Kosh
  • Nirbhaya Fund
  • Mahila Shakti Kendra
  • Mahila Police Volunteers Scheme
  • Mudra Yojana Scheme for women
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana 
  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013
  • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
  • Special Marriage Act, 1954
  • Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
  • Indian Divorce Act, 1969
  • Maternity Benefit Act
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act
  • Indecent Representation of Women(Prevention) Act,1986
  • National Commission for Women Act, 1990
  • Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
  • Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
  • The Indian Penal Code,1860
  • The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956

SC decisions-

  • Vishakha and others v/s State of Rajasthan case– Vishakha guidelines for protection against sexual harrasement.
  • Laxmi v/s Union Of India (2006)- imposed strict regulations on the sale of acid, including ban on sale of acid over the counter and ban on sale of acid to a person below 18 years
  • Lillu v/s State Of Haryana (2013)– court held that the two-finger test is a violation of the victim’s right to privacy and dignity.
  • In ABC v/s The State (NCT of Delhi) (2015) the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment held that an unwed mother belonging to the Christian faith is not bound to disclose the name of the child’s father.
  • Dhannulal and ors v/s Ganeshram and Ors (2015)- the bench held that continuous cohabitation of a couple together that is, ‘live-in relationship’ would raise the presumption of marriage unless otherwise proven
  • Shayara Bano v/s Union of India (2017), the Supreme Court declared the practice of Instant Triple Talaq (talak-e-biddat) un-Islamic and against the basic tenets of Quran.
  • The Sabarimala Temple case is one of the most important cases that initiated the debate between Right to Equality and Right to Freedom of Religion.
  • Lata Singh Vs State of Uttar Pradesh– Supreme Court held that an adult woman the right to marry or live with anyone of her choice.
  • Centre for enquiry into Health and Allied themes (CEHAT) Vs Union of India– The Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied themes filed a petition which led to the Supreme court directing the Central and State governments to enact the provisions of the act immediately, and banned all advertisements relating to pre-natal sex determination techniques.

What needs to be done?

  • Education– to let know the rights of women and to let them prosper with education.
  • Sensitization– the society should understand the plight of woman and to overcome that.
  • Equality– must to ensure all other measures bear the fruits.
  • Awareness– about rules, regulations, laws, and judgments, etc.
  • Legal remedies– should be easy for woman to access the legal options available to them.
  • Fast-tracked adjudication– no delay in adjudication as it causes moral and psychological harm on women.
  • Economic support– having a job can solve many issues for the women like dependence, psychological burden, poverty, medical expenses, etc. 

Mains Question-

Even though woman is considered sacred in Indian tradition, the crime is on rise since ancient time. Examine the issue and suggest ways to prevent the crimes against women.


Email :         011-41561002

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top