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List of Bills & Acts for Women Empowerment: 2019

Here we have listed all the Bills that have been passed in the Parliament in favor of Women and Child Empowerment in 2019.
Dec 30, 2019 17:14 IST
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Women Empowerment Bills 2019
Women Empowerment Bills 2019

This year the Parliament not only passed the landmark Bills in favor of Women and Children but also passed many other Bills and created a record to pass maximum Bills in the last 67 years. Here's the list of the Bills passed in Parliament for Women and Child Empowerment in 2019: 

# Surrogacy Regulation Bill 

The surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 5, 2019, by Dr. Harsh Vardhan (Minister of Health & Family Welfare) and was passed in Lok Sabha on August 5, 2019. The purpose of the Bill was to ban commercial surrogacy in the country. 

Provisions of the Bill are as follows: 

  1. This Bill bans commercial surrogacy.
  2. This Bill also regulates the Altruistic surrogacy in which the surrogate mother receives only the medical expenses and insurance coverage during the pregnancy.
  3. It protects the rights of children born out of surrogacy. 
  4. Indian couples who are legally married for at least 5 years and are infertile; between the age of 23-50 years for wife and 26-55 years for a husband are eligible for altruistic surrogacy provided that the surrogate mother is a close relative. 
  5. Surrogacy is not applicable for singles, homosexuals and live-in relationship couples. 
  6. The surrogate mother must be a married woman between the age of 25-35 years having her own child. 
  7. A woman can only surrogate once in her lifetime. 

What is surrogacy? 

Surrogacy is a legal process where a woman agrees for pregnancy by artificial methods to give birth to a child for infertile couples. The bill bans commercial surrogacy where the monetary benefits exceed the basic medical expenses and insurance of the surrogate mother. 

# The Muslim Women (Protection of Right on Marriage) Act

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha on June 21, 2019, by  Ravi Shankar Prasad (Minister of Law and Justice) and was passed in Lok Sabha on July 25, 2019, and passed in the upper house i.e., Rajya Sabha on July 30, 2019. The purpose of the Bill was to declare triple talaq illegal. 

Provisions of the Bill are as follows: 

  1. According to this Bill, instant triple talaq is a criminal offense whether written, electronic or verbal. 
  2. It prohibits ‘talaq-e-biddat’ under Muslim personal laws. 
  3. Jail term to a Muslim man giving divorce by saying ‘Talaq’ thrice.
  4. In case, Muslim woman misuses this law, a Muslim man has the right to appeal. 
  5. Instant triple talaq is a cognizable offense under this Bill. 
  6. A Muslim woman is allowed to take custody of her minor children against whom instant talaq has been declared.

What is ‘talaq-e-biddat’?

Under Muslim personal laws, ‘talaq-e-biddat’ is a practice where a Muslim man can give divorce to his wife by pronouncing ‘Talaq’ thrice in one go or in one sitting. It results in an instant divorce and is irrevocable. 

What is a ‘cognizable offense’?

In cognizable offense, a police officer may arrest the accused without any warrant. In this case, the offense is considered to be cognizable,  provided that the information is either given by the married women (to whom triple talaq is given) or by the person related to her by blood or marriage. 

# Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill or Commonly known as POSCO was introduced in Rajya Sabha on July 18, 2019, by Smriti Zubin Irani (Minister of Women and Child Development) and was passed in Rajya Sabha on July 24, 2019, and on August 1, 2019, in Lower House i.e., Lok Sabha. It was proposed to protect children from any kind of sexual offenses. 

Provisions of the Act are as follows: 

  1. Death penalty to the sinners of sexual assault on children.
  2. A person committing penetrative sexual assaults on a child below the age of 16 years is liable to punishment with a minimum imprisonment of 20 years to lifetime, with fine. 
  3. A person committing aggravated sexual assault or aggravated penetrative sexual assault on a child will be punished with a minimum imprisonment of 20 years to lifetime or death sentence depending upon the case. 
  4. A person using any child for pornographic purposes or storing pornographic material for commercial use will be punished with a minimum imprisonment of 5 years and 3 years respectively. 

What is penetrative sexual assault?

If a person penetrates his penis into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a child or any other object into the child’s body; his mouth to child’s body parts; then the person under the Act commits penetrative sexual assault. 

What is aggravated penetrative sexual assault?

If a police officer, member of armed forces, a public servant, a relative of the child or any other person injures the sexual organs of the child or the child becomes pregnant; died due to assault or the assault is committed during a natural calamity; then the person under the Act commits aggravated penetrative sexual assault.

What is aggravated sexual assault?

If a relative or any other person touches the sexual organs of the child without penetration and with sexual intention, then the person under the Act commits aggravated sexual assault. In addition to this, it also includes giving the child any hormonal/chemical substance for early sexual maturity. 

# The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 19, 2019, by Thaawarchand Gehlot (Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment) and was passed in Lok Sabha on August 5, 2019, and in Upper House i.e., Rajya Sabha on November 26, 2019. It was passed to protect the rights of transgender persons. 

Provisions of the Bill are as follows: 

  1. It prohibits the discrimination against a transgender person in various fields (education, employment, health, access to facilities available to the public, right to movement and reside, right to occupy a property, right to hold a public or private office)
  2. It provides a transgender person to access government or private establishment under whose care the transgender person is. 
  3. Forced or bonded labor, denial to access public places, removal from house or village, any kind of abuse(physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic).
  4. If found guilty, the person will be sentenced a minimum jail term of 6 months to 2 years with a fine. 

Who is a transgender person?

According to the Bill, a person whose gender doesn’t match the gender which is assigned at the birth is considered a transgender person. The bill includes trans-men, trans-women, gender-queers or persons with intersex variations.

These were the Bills that were passed in the Parliament in 2019 for empowering the Women and Children; which are often considered as the weaker sections of the society. 

Bills and Acts in 2019 for empowering the Women and Children:

1-The surrogacy (Regulation) Bill

2- The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act

3- Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act

4- The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill