An Analysis of the Socio-legal Framework Around Objectification of Women in India
Keywords:Objectification, cross cultural analysis, Indian Penal Code, Indecent Representation of Women’s Act, Women issues in India
Objectification is the act of treating a person solely as an object of sexual desire. Sexual objectification is one of the biggest reasons why we live in a world flooded with sexualized images of women who are presented to be immaculate goddesses, which every girl aspires to emulate leading to mental health issues, loss of self-esteem, exploitation and harassment. Sexual objectification constitutes of two dimensions within itself, firstly, treating women as mere objects and secondly, dehumanizing, i.e. when women are considered to be mindless entities and their internal virtues are completely forgotten about. The current legal frameworks around the world take a limited view of the problem and deal with certain aspects of the problem while ignoring others. This study tries to holistically analyse the problems from a victim standpoint and does a cross cultural analysis with a special focus on laws in India and a brief overview about the laws in other countries like Belgium, France, Finland, Greece, Norway, South Africa, Spain, United States of America, United Kingdom, Nicaragua to identify areas where the legal frameworks need to be strengthened in order to prevent women from being objectified. It was noticed that most of these countries did not have a peculiar law against objectification. However, most of the western countries focus on protecting women against gender stereotypes in advertisements. This was also followed by a 22-pointer gap analysis on the Indian existing laws. Furthermore, the primary research encompassed a deliberation with a panel of socio-legal experts, whose ideas and suggestions have in turn been included in the paper. The research paper ends with recommendations which were devised after a lot of brainstorming.
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