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19th February 2024 (8 Topics)

Rights of the Single Woman

Context

In India, a single women faces challenges in surrogacy and reproductive rights as current laws do not permit single women in India to have children through surrogacy.

Legal Restrictions and Discrimination:

  • Restriction placed by law: The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, restricts surrogacy to married couples or widowed/divorced women aged 35-45, excluding single, never-married women.
  • Legislative barriers: Legislation, including the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, often overlooks the reproductive rights of single women, creating barriers to accessing essential healthcare services.
  • Societal stigma: Single women encounter societal stigma and negative stereotypes, with discriminatory laws perpetuating sex-based inequality.

Institutionalized Discrimination:

  • Biasness: Systemic biases against single women are deeply ingrained in laws, regulations, and policies, disadvantaging them in reproductive decision-making.
  • Unequal access: Legal frameworks privilege married individuals, relegating single women to a disadvantaged class and denying them equal access to reproductive technologies.
  • Constant obstacles: Despite positive judicial interpretations, single women continue to face obstacles in exercising their reproductive rights, particularly concerning abortion and surrogacy.

Challenges to Parenthood and Family Structures:

  • Tradition: Traditional notions of family and child welfare, including the perceived necessity of fathers, discriminate against single and lesbian women seeking motherhood.
  • Stereotype: The requirement for a father in legal frameworks overlooks the diverse forms of supported parenting and perpetuates stereotypes about family structures.
  • Required measure: Addressing these challenges requires a shift towards recognizing legal rights for non-traditional families and ensuring equitable access to reproductive choices for all individuals.Top of Form
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