Strengthen law for making husbands accountable towards marriage when wife is working woman
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I am a working professional in a government job and a wife of a person who has been harassing me with his family in all ways possible. The only two options left before me were either I keep fulfilling their unresonable demands while being denied basic rights of a married woman and keep being used as a mere soulless object for their needs of all kinds or I should just seperate and go back to my maternal home after being harassed enormously in all ways because being a working women there is no financial responsibilty of husband towards me and hence he and his family has no fear of any consequences. Till date, I have not chosen any of these options because I believe in justice and want to fight for it. I know there are several laws like Domestic Violence Act, Section 125 etc... but these provisions of law differentiate between working women and women who are homemakers. Currently, after SC verdict, even section 498A has been made toothless citing possibility of misuse by women. There is a need for some provision to set accountability on husbands towards their marriage with working women because the truth is working women like myself are being misused by men who know that there is lack of legal recource available with working women to challenge irresponsible unempathetic behaviour of husbands/in-laws towards sustenance of marriage.
Its not only my story, I have come across a couple of well educated professional women, all fighting similar battles like myself and each one of us are knocking door to door to police, courts, NCW, CAW Cell so that accountability can be set on husbands towards their marriage irrespective of the fact that wife is working or not. But what we are getting in return is disappointment from any immediate relief because as per all authorities no law is there which can bind a man to sustain the marriage and in absence of any financial liability such men are ridiculing the entire idea of empowerment of women as they are misusing her financial independence as an easy excuse for leaving her out of marriage.
It is a hard reality that on one hand we take pride in making pleasing slogans like "Beti Padao, Beti Bachao" but on the other hand such women who are earning are getting exploited and misused in matrimonial houses because matrimonial family knows that the woman is not left with much of a legal recource in absence of financial liability and will one day or the other give up herself. It appears that this self-independence is actually a curse for working women as it gives such people the power to bring a woman to home after marriage, use her in all possible ways while denying her basic rights of marriage, harass her and leave her to be distressed and the husbands/in-laws just waits for the woman to succumb to the trauma and give up. Such people easily take shelter under the pretext that the woman is earning and can sustain herself and hence husband can not be held accountable. As said earlier, provision in law like Domestic Violence Act, Section 125 etc... differentiate between working women and women who are homemakers. And husbands and their families are exploiting this very nature of law. Being a working woman should be an asset for me instead it has become a weapon against me. I have worked hard to make a space for myself in the professional world and why should my hardwork give husband/in-laws the power to act against my peace and married life. This situation needs to change. There should be fear of law that should prevail so that woman's empowerment by means of her employment should not be used as a weapon against her married life specially when the woman does not want to break the marriage. She should be given right to a dignified and peaceful married life.
A working woman as wife/daughter-in-law should not be treated as a use and throw object as if there is no soul in the woman, who leaves literally everything to start new life with a new family. The source of this arrogance is in the lack of any accountability and liability esp. on the husband towards his wife if the wife is financially stable. Such men keep harassing their wives in all ways so as to pressurize wives to themselves seek separation.
In the end I just want to put a question - Do married working women have any right to live a peaceful dignified married life in their matrimonial home? If yes, then I request everyone to sign this petition.
And I request Ministry of Women and Child Development to please raise the issue and help in creating time-bound legal provisions so that accountability be set on husbands towards wife and marriage even when the wife is a working woman without delay in justice. The law must not differentiate on accountability of husband towards a working or non-working wife because marriage is a sacred institution and provisions like financial accountability not only help the distressed wife financially but such provisions in law act as deterrent against harassment of women in matrimonial homes by husbands and in-laws. Absence of such accountability is exploited by matrimonial family members and they are encouraged to harass the married woman to get rid-off her. I hope that the appeal will be heard and appropriate provisions be made because absence of such legal provision is making the whole idea of women empowerment fall flat on its face.
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