Denying women child care leave is violation of the Constitution

Women & Child Welfare
Women & Child Welfare

In order to increase involvement of women in workforce, Indian Government has come out with new laws in recent past and made changes to many existing laws. The right to equal pay for equal work, Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and Factories Act, 1948 are some of the examples.

In this sequence, right of women to take leaves for taking care of her child is a widely recognized one. On account of this right, Supreme Court of India has recently pronounced a remarkable judgement.

A women professor working in Government College in Himachal Pradesh has filed a petition in S.C. that her employer was not allowing her leaves for child care. Her child is a special needs child having genetic disorder. A bench of CJI DY Chandrachud  and J B Pardiwala passed the order that “Participation of women in the workforce is a constitutional entitlement and denying mothers child care leaves violates this.”

They further said that ““Participation of women in the workforce is a matter not just of privilege but a constitutional entitlement protected by Article 15 of the Constitution. The state as a model employer cannot be oblivious to the special concerns which arise in the case of women who are part of the workforce,”

So, the State of Himachal Pradesh was also ordered to make special provisions under “Rights to Persons with Disabilities Act” for mothers having child with special needs.

Of course, if this right of women is not protected then automatically the ratio of working women, post child birth, would reduce. Already, the number of women workforce is very less as compares to men and if this basic right of taking care of children is also not protected, then all the policies of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” would also fail.

This order is a proof that our Courts are strictly working towards Women Empowerment and Entitlement.


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