SECTIONS – WOMEN – Constitutional Provisions and Policies



The Preamble to the Constitution of India assures justice, social, economic and political; equality of status and opportunity and dignity to the individual.

Thus it treats both men and women equal.

Fundamnental Rights

  • Article 14 : ensures to women the right to equality.
  • Article 15(1) : specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
  • Article 15(3) : empowers the State to take affirmative actions in favour of women.
  • Article 16 : Provides for equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office.

Directive principles of state policy

  • Article 39 (a)provides that the state direct its policy towards securing for men and women equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood.
  • Article 39 (d) : mandates equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
  • Article 42 : provides that the state make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.

Fundamental Duty

  • Article 51(A) (e) : renounces practices derogatory to the dignity of women


  • National Plan of Action (1976) : was enforced providing guidelines based on United Nations ‘World Plan of Action for women’ with special attention to areas of health, family planning, nutrition, education, employment, legislation and social welfare for formulating and implementing of action programmes for women.
  • National Policy on Education (1986) : focused on providing educational opportunities to women.
  • National Policy for Empowerment of Women (2001) : Came up with the objective to bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of women and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. It was directed towards achieving inclusive growth with special focus on women.
  • India is also a signatory to a number of UN conventions,such as :1] Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 2]Beijing Platform for Action and 3]Convention on Rights of the Child.

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