23_03_2010_001_018

Just reading this piece makes me squirm. Whatever you do, wherever you work, however you look, it does not matter, you’re a woman, woman! The men in question here, think that they have a birthright to treat you the way they like especially if you’re not already some other guy’s ‘property’.

Did you know that a woman can sue a man for adultery but a man can’t sue a woman for the same offence? However, they can sue the other man for having adulterous relationship with their wife.

Under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, it is a crime for a man to have adulterous relations with a married woman. He can be punished for up to two years or is liable to pay a fine.

A woman however, cannot be punished under the law for committing adultery. She is only considered an abettor to the crime. Her husband can file a case against the man she has had adulterous relations stating that he criminally intimidated and enticed his wife.

Under the matrimonial law, if a man commits adultery, his wife can sue him and she can also name the woman he has had adulterous relations with as a correspondent, in which case the woman will have to testify in court.

The point I’m trying to make here, which may not be obvious is that, neither are women treated equally by law nor by society. Laws are after all a reflection of the country’s belief and culture. This law, clearly undermines the status of women to being a mere property owned by men. In case of adulteration, a man blames another man for stealing what is rightfully his, in other words, his property.