Laws - India
With the women's movement gathering ground, the government was forced to amend rape laws in 1983 to the advantage of the victim.
In 1984 and 1986, the government amended the Dowry Prohibition Act to make dowry a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1986 that criminalised mental and physical cruelty inflicted by the husband on a married woman.
Under the Family Courts Act 1984, the government set up family courts to settle family disputes. All Women's Police Stations, Family Counselling Cells, Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats (people's courts that deal only with women’s issues) and Mahila Panchs (women's councils) were set up.
The government in 1992 enacted the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution that mandated 33 percent reservations for women in local governance.
In 1994, the government passed the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act declaring as criminal the practice of using ultrasound scans to identify the sex of a foetus. It was amended in 2003 to include pre-conception and sex selection techniques.
India signed the CEDAW in 1993.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, recognises all forms of abuse against women in the home, provides protection to the wife or live-in partner from violence at the hands of the husband or live-in partners or his relatives, secures a woman’s right to secure housing and takes cognisance of martial rape.
Yet gender justice through laws has as yet to gain ground.