by Ricky Anand
Patriarchy has always been deep rooted within the Indian society.
In the past women are at the receiving end of oppression and violence. The criminal justice system in India treats male and feminine offenders differently thanks to the social and cultural norms. Indian Judiciary, where in, Judges are well aware of the discrimination faced by women, and hence are often lenient while convicting female .
In India, most of the govt institutions are dominated by men. If we analyze figures, one will notice that in the year 2013-14, only 5% of women have worked in government departments.
Moreover, there are figures that suggest such discrimination is prevalent within the parliament, state legislatures and judiciary.Firstly, within the parliament, there are merely 62 out of 543 (only 11.42%) members of parliament who arewomen. Secondly, within the state legislature, out of 4120 members of legislature, merely 359 (only 8.71%) are women. Furthermore,in the Bar, out of a total of 9,55,013 advocates enrolled in Bar Councils, only 98,556 are women. Such a huge difference in numbers is one among the main reasons that the gender disparity remains on the increase .
It is a general perception in our country that crimes, especially heinous ones are committed by men, this is often one among the explanations why the prisons are more suitable in terms of conditions for men. The thought process behind this was that prisons are made for men, by men. Due to this, many an time women face extreme difficulties, which can be during their pregnancies and menstrual cycles. This is one of the reasons, along with others, that laws and judges are often lenient in sentencing female convicts.Women, over the years have been victims of various crimes and forms of discrimination. The main reasons behind this, is male dominance.Keeping this in mind, we can conclude that there cannot be a gender neutral criminal justice system until and unless there is equality in the society at large. In order to realize this goal, it’s essential that ladies get equal representation in institutions like parliament and courts.Education of the girl child would be a stepping stone to fulfil this objective and with respect.