Context of marriage laws amendment
Marriage is regarded as a sacred and it is considered as a bond of seven births. Times are changing. Seven steps laid are not staying at least for a life time. Marriage is considered as a contract and materialism prevailed over spiritualism. Marriages are being broken down. There is high growth of divorces prevalent. Women and children became the sufferers. NRI marriages are ending with divorce in a single year. After divorce, women are given peanuts alimony. She has to suffer all the time without a support and taunted by relatives etc. In this circumstance, UPA government came up with a bill to support women morally and financially with legal weapon.
Specialty of the bill
The bill is considered as one of the landmark bills related to women empowerment. Earlier domestic violence act and Hindu succession amendment (2005) are brought into effect. This is considered as a great step after above given laws. Coming to financial empowerment, after Hindu succession act, it is a boon for woman. This bill has considered the constitutional rights to woman like article 14 and article 15. It has a step ahead in removing the obstacle in the way of equality.
With the Domestic violence act, woman is protected and Hindu succession act had helped woman be par with their brother to get the inherited property. Coming to the Marriage law amendment bill, she has been made equal with husband to get her part when their marriage is broken down. In detail, centre has recognized the efforts of women of India. Even women are educated, they are not sent outside to earn but they are only seen as housewives. Thus she is losing her part. Hence that part should be taken from her husband when she gets divorce.
Resistance and opposition against the bill
When the bill is laid before the parliament, it is not turned out as a bill. The resistance came as how the alimony is given in joint family structure. This bill is deferred and government constituted GoM to study and chalk out a formula to put it into force to empower women even they are divorced.
Formula devised for the alimony
Generally, alimony is given to the wife when divorced. But, it is not giving alimony as it seems but to give right to own a part of property of husband. This amount will increase if she is with children. So the parting husband has to decide whether he is ready to part his wife at the loss of his wealth, then it will be carried on. The alimony is calculated based on the asset value of husband's property. He has to shun appropriate amount to his wife. In detail, if he owns a house, he should give the decided part value of the house. For example, 20%, 30% etc. as court decided. If husband does not come to the court for hearings the judge has right to decide the percentage of amount divorced wife has to get. Actually, this seemed good but the question rose regarding the joint family system. All jointly own the property. In this circumstance, it is not an easy task to give proper amount as alimony. GoM debated on this issue and brought forward a formula. According to that, wife gets a part of moveable property earned after marriage and she is also eligible to inherited property on which husband has authority. Thus she gains alimony and can support her children even though there are no supporters. Prior to it, even though husband is a rich man woman has to go bear handed after divorce. But now time is changing.
Arguments for the bill
Women become independent
Woman is always dependent on someone during the course of life. She is enslaved at every stage. In childhood, she is dependent on father, in youth she is dependent on husband, in old age, she is dependent on children. If any support is lacked at any stage, this will jeopardize the life of a woman. If she is divorced how she can live along with children. In this circumstance, this will surely be a help for her.
Reduction of divorces
Majority are hoping that this law will help in reducing the divorce cases as it may deter on losing the assets for wife in case of divorce.
As women are empowered it will surely lead to empowerment of future women generation. She will surely educate girl child to stand on her legs. Actually, the birth girl child is most likely reason of divorce in rural areas. So in this case, it will change the mindset or will help give education to girl children even divorced. Parents can feel happy with this law as it will save their daughters and so this leads to happy tears when girl child is born rather than shame.
Arguments against the bill
Encourages more divorces
Few sections are looking at the bill with suspicion that it surely disturbs the family system. Divorces may happen more as woman may like as they are financially supported with a part of husband's property. She may leave her tolerance and may opt for divorce and can lead to more divorces than fruitful marriages.
Disempowerment of men
Women friendly laws are keeping men at risk. It is matter of good and bad but not man or woman. There are good wives and bad wives and the same case with the men. Now bad women are misusing the law and demolishing own houses. Domestic violence law is being misused and we have seen cases such. In-laws along with husband are being harassed. When such laws are being misused how new weapon can be kept in the hands of woman. There are so many persons afflicted with domestic violence act. With this new advantage, this will surely disempower the men. Doing justice to one should not be injustice to other. Empowering women should not lead to disempowerment of men.
Woman and man are interdependent on each other. Without one it is not possible for existence. Laws should favor the justice, not the gender. The good should be rescued and bad should be judged. Let us wish that this bill being turned into law may do the good to woman and society altogether.