Statutory Rights of Women

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THE DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961
Act No 28 of 1961 passed on 20th May, 1961
The act was amended twice - in the year 1984 and 1986
An Act to prohibit the giving or taking of dowry.
Sections from the Act
• Section 1: Short title, extent and commencement
• Section 2: Definition of "dowry"
• Section 3: Penalty for giving or taking dowry
o Presents given at the time of marriage of bride without any demand having been made in this behalf and entered in a list made at the time of marriage, does not attract provisions of Section 3. But, property is demanded, it would fall within the term of dowry. o Has penal provisions of imprisonment up to 5 years and fine of Rs. 15,000 or the amount of dowry, which ever is more... • Section 4: Penalty for demanding dowry

o Mere demand for dowry is an offense. Punishment could be from 6 months and extended to 2 years. Fine can be up to 10,000 rupees. • Section 5: Agreement for giving or taking dowry to be void • Section 6: Dowry to be for the benefit of the wife or her heirs • Section 7: Cognizance of offences

• Section 8: Offences to be non-cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable • Section 9: Power to make rules

MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT, 1961

Important Provisions of Maternity Benefit Act, 1961

Women at the reproductive stage are exposed to special risks during pregnancy and child bearing, and mortality and maternal morbidity are factors which require special consideration. The Maternity benefit Act was passed to regulate the employment of women for certain period before and after the child birth and to provide certain maternity and other benefits.

Definitions
"wages"
Means all remuneration paid or payable in cash to a woman, if the terms of the contract of employment, express or implied, were fulfilled and includes - (1) Such cash allowances (including dearness allowance and house rent allowance) as a woman is for the time being entitled to; (2) Incentive bonus; and

(3) The money value of the confessional supply of food grains and other articles, but does not include - (I) any bonus other than incentive bonus;
(ii) Over -time earnings an any deduction or payment made on account of fines; (iii) Any contribution paid or payable by the employer to any pension fund or provident fund or for the benefit of the woman under any law for the time being in force; and (iv) Any gratuity payable on the termination of service;

"woman"
Means a woman employed, whether directly or through any agency, for wages in any establishment.

Applicability of Act
• This Act is applicable to all establishments and factories in which 10 or more persons are/were employed in the preceding 12 months. • This Act is applicable to every establishment involved in equestrian, aerobatics and other performances, irrespective of the number of employees • This Act is not applicable to those establishments /factories were Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 is applicable. Main Provisions of the Act

Prohibition of employment of Women during certain periods
No employer shall:
• Knowingly employ women during six weeks immediately following the date of pregnancy/ miscarriage/ medical termination of pregnancy. • Employ a woman in a work of arduous nature and which may interfere with the pregnancy or normal development of fetus for a period of One month before pregnancy. Maternity Benefits

The maternity benefits under this act are as follows:

Eligibility
A woman is eligible for maternity benefits when she has worked for at least 80 days in the preceding 12 months from her date of expected delivery.

Pay
Employer shall pay Maternity benefit equal to Basic +DA+ Cash Allowances + Incentive Bonus for the period of absence to the women employee.

Leave
The woman employee is eligible to get maternity benefit for 84 days (i.e 12 weeks). Out of the 84 days, the period before delivery should be maximum 42 days...
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