[Rights Issues] Legalizing Prostitution, Gender Gap Report, Widows of Vrindavan, Christian Women Property rights

Mrunalpolity67 Comments

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  1. Legalizing prostitution
    1. Immoral Traffic prevention Act, 1956
    2. Pro arguments: sex trade be legalized bcoz:
    3. Anti-Arguments: Sex trade must not be legalized bcoz:
  2. WEF: Gender Gap Report 2014 (Oct 14)
  3. Property rights of Christian women (Sep-14)
  4. Widows of Vrindavan (Sep-14)
  5. Stopping Child marriages: some fodder (Sep-14)
  6. UPSC’s proforma vs rights of disabled

Legalizing prostitution

Relevance in Mains:

  • GS1: Women-poverty associated issues and remedies; social empowerment
  • GS2: laws for protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.
Prostitution in India: Disturbing numbers
7 lakh “Registered” sex workers in India (Health ministry, 2012)
13 lakh Total Sex workers in India (NACO estimate, 2012)
40% Of them are underage (Study by Women and child ministry)
33% Of missing children never found. Many of them sold off as within India or in Middle-east.


Legalizing prostitution

Legalizing prostitution: Pro & Anti-arguments

Timeline of Events
1956 Immoral Traffic prevention Act, 1956
2007 Women and Child Development ministry launched “Ujjwala” scheme for rescue-rehab-reintegration of trafficked women.
2011 Supreme court appointed Pradip Ghosh panel to suggest reform in ITPA act and rehabilitation of sex workers. Report possible in 2015.
  1. Lalitha Kumaramangalam (chairman of National Commission for Women) said sex trade should be legalized. (2014, Oct W4)
  2. And since then every day Hindu running minimum one article on why it should be legalized. Hence topic important.

Immoral Traffic prevention Act, 1956

  • The act does not prohibit sex work, per se.
  • but sex workers, her children and associates can be arrested for
  • Running brothel
  • Soliciting in public places.
  • if person >18 years age, is living on sex worker’s income- he can be jailed for 2 years.
  • This means, even sex workers’ children can be arrested because at 18 age, they are barely out of school and won’t have a job.
  • If sex worker arrested in ITPA, her children forced to join the flesh-trade.
  • This act aims to stop under-age girls from prostitution. But despite amendments in ’72 and ’86, it hasn’t stopped.
  • Under ITPA, Police can raid a premise without warrant. This provision misused for harassment and bribery by police. Sex workers constantly live under threat of raids=>Entry of pimps who “manage” policemen=>exploitation by pimps.

Pro arguments: sex trade be legalized bcoz:

  1. Prostitutes too have right to live with Dignity under Article 21. (Ex-Justice Katju).
  2. They’ll be saved from police raids and social-stigma.
  3. Their dependents and children can benefit from Government schemes= better Education and employment alternatives for their families.
  4. In the absence of regulation, sex workers forced to serve clients in unhygienic, unhealthy conditions, without condoms=> HIV+STD. Laws and regulation can stop this.
  5. Minimum wages, Work-hours can be regularized. Exploitation by pimps, madams, brothel-owners, police and politicians will stop.
  6. Sex workers will be covered under labour laws, social security benefits, EPFO. Government can earn taxes from them.
  7. I-cards will be issued. Police can distinguish between (voluntary) sex work vs. (forced) trafficking. Trafficking of underage girls can stopped.
  8. 2002: New Trade Union Initiative labelled sex work as “unorganized labour”.
  9. Sex workers must be allowed to enjoy same labour rights and human rights as others.
  10. All India Network of Sex Workers & other groups claim that sex trade legalization will reduce trafficking of women,  help them get health and welfare schemes.

Anti-Arguments: Sex trade must not be legalized bcoz:

  1. Fundamental duty in Indian Constitution: Renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women. By legalizing sex-trade, You’ll send wrong message to new generations of boys that women are sexual commodities and that prostitution is harmless recreational activity.
  2. Women do not join prostitution by on their will. Most of them are  abused, coerced and tricked into sex trade by pimps. So, Instead of “legalizing” this activity, Government should give alternative employment to sex-workers and put pimps into jails.
  3. Legalizing sex trade- will benefit pimps to force more women into prostitution.
  4. It is not possible to protect someone whose employment exposes them to the likelihood of being raped on average once a week.
  5. 2000: Sex trade legalized in Netherlands. Sex industry expanded by 25% with East Europe girls brought in, many of them underage. So, Legalization does not control the sex industry. It expands this immoral activity.
  6. Legalized sex trade=> compulsory medical checkups=> but even if sex worker got HIV, she’ll test negative for the first 4-6 weeks and infecting more clients in the meantime. To stop HIV, prostitution has to be stopped completely.
  7. Wrong assumption that legalized sex trade =condom used = less HIV. Because some sex workers would agree to go without condoms e.g. older women unable to find clients, pimp’s pressure etc.
  8. Registered sex workers=> no minors trafficked. This is also wrong assumption because if fake Aadhar cards can be created then fake id cards for under-age sex workers can be created as well.
  9. In short, Prostitution can never be a legitimate business because it will always be associated with crime, corruption, class, mass sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
  10. if Government can’t stop something then it should be legalized=> on that logic even narcotic drugs should be legalized. End result would be broken families and dysfunctional youth- just like in the West.

WEF: Gender Gap Report 2014 (Oct 14)


  • “World-Ranking-report” type MCQs- mainly in CDS, CAPF and Banks.
  • Fodder for GS1, GS2, Essay and Interview.


  1. World Economic forum prepares Gender Gap report since 2006.
  2. Top5 for 2014: Iceland > Finland > Norway > Sweden > Denmark.
Gender empowerment index measures 4 fronts
Front Criteria India’s rank /142 nations
1.Economic participation Salaries 134
2.Education Access to basic and higher edu. 126
3.Health and survival Life expectancy and sex ratio 141 out of 142 countries. Means 2nd most bogus country in the world.
4.Political empowerment Representation in Decision Making position 15
Overall 114(2014); 101(2013). Means we’ve become more bogus than last year.

Except the political empowerment front, we are among the 20 most-bogus countries in the world on gender imbalance.

India women: Disturbing numbers from WEF report

Numbers not much important except when you want to turn GD into fish market
0% Seats reserved in parliament for women.
2.5% Total fertility rate
7% of Company board seats occupied by females.
9%  firms owned by females
15% of Indian scientists are female.
19% Employed in non-agriculture labor
28% Married in childhood before reaching age of 20
33% Become mothers before reaching age of 20
44% Suffer from malnutrition
55% Women Aware about contraceptives
67% Deliveries by trained person
6 Hours spend daily in unpaid work.
190 Maternal mortality ration per 1 lakh live births

MCQ: Find incorrect statements about Global Gender Gap Report 2014?

  1. Benchmarks national gender gaps on four fronts viz. economic, political, education and health.
  2. Is prepared by World Bank.
  3. Norway is ranked 1st on having minimum gender gap.

Correct choices

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. None of them

Property rights of Christian women (Sep-14)

Relevance: fodder for the topic “need for uniform civil code in India” in Essay / Interview. Classic mistake by many candidates- when they hear “uniform civil code”, their points only center around Muslim personnel law and “talaaq”. But an ideal answer needs to discuss status of women in other religion as well.

What is the problem?

Indian Succession Act, 1925 says: in a Christian house, IF a son dies without writing will, and there are no children/grandchildren, then:

  • His property would go to his father. in this case, His mother won’t get a penny.
  • If father also dead then, property will be shared equally among siblings and mother.

Thus Christian mother are discriminated in property inheritance.

  1. Law Commission chairman Justice AP Shah gave report #247.
  2. He asked Government to amend the law so that both mother and father have equal share in dead son’s property.

Widows of Vrindavan (Sep-14)

Topic in news because BJP-MP Hema Malini said many of these widows have high bank balance and yet begging for more money, they should leave Vrindavan.


  • GSM1: Women, Poverty development issues. GSM2: Vulnerable section
  • Essay / Interview: plight of elderly in India

Points to consider:

  • Poor widows from all over India come to Vrindavan for shelter, because they’ve no other place to go, relatives unwilling to look after them.
  • It is not religion but poverty that forced them to Vrindavan.
  • If they’re forced out of this city, they’ll not get livelihood opportunities in other towns
  • Constitution guarantees every citizen right to reside in any part of India, including Vrindavan.

Problem of widows:

  • 2007: Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. Adults need to give food, cloths, housing and medical care to their parents.
  • But, Most of the Vrindavan widows are without children / family too poor / family doesn’t care. Hence they’re forced to seek refuge in Vrindavan, beg for money while singing bhajans.
  • 2010: NCW report says ~75% of Vrindavan widows are from West Bengal. (meaning, W.Begal is the most bogus state in widow-welfare)
  • Supreme court ordered Government to provide proper housing and food to them.
  • But most of them don’t have proof of residence => can’t get ration card=>can’t benefit from Government schemes.

Stopping Child marriages: some fodder (Sep-14)

Relevance: a few fodder points for descriptive question / essay from a Hindu column.

  1. Child marriages increase Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR); prevents the girl child from realizing her true potential or education / career ambition.
  2. Need networking between lawyers, NGOs, Police and District administration, revenue officials.
  3. Political interference when Police wants to book the caste leaders. This must stop.
  4. Often, girl child turns hostile during court proceedings, case collapses. Hence need to make appropriate participants in Child Marriages Prevention Act 2006.
  5. Need funds for setting up of special homes for victims, skill Development training.
  6. Usually such families are poor and illiterate. Need to ensure they’re adequately covered under Government schemes for welfare, income and education.

UPSC’s proforma vs rights of disabled

Exam-Relevance: None, because I don’t think UPSC will ask question on a case where they themselves were defeated. Anyways let’s check the matter:

  • Even if a PH-candidate has a valid disability certificate, the UPSC would ask them to fillup a new “proforma” form and attach photographs showing disability.
  • This infringes the right to privacy of the applicant- for example an amputee female.
  • Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disability has ordered UPSC to stop this practice.

Wait, commissioner becomes important for Mains GS2: syllabus topic- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

(GS2) Write a note on the origin and function of Chief Commissioner for persons with disabilities. 100 words

  • It is a statutory body- separate commissioners at national and state level.
  • Under Persons with disabilities (equal opportunity) Act, 1995.
  • Under Ministry of social justice and empowerment.


  1. Safeguard the rights of PH. Can take Suo-moto action.
  2. Has power of a Civil court under CPC (Code of civil procedure). He can summon people, issue fines and arrest warrants for non-appearance, order union and state Government to disclose information.
  3. Monitors that Government schemes and funds properly used for benefit of PH
  4. Monitors that laws and regulations donot discriminate against PH like this Lord Curzon UPSC.
  5. National Chief coordinates with state chiefs.

Visit Mrunal.org/Polity for entire Archive of Polity articles published so far.

Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

67 Comments on “[Rights Issues] Legalizing Prostitution, Gender Gap Report, Widows of Vrindavan, Christian Women Property rights”

  1. First of all Very good article.
    In my opinion Legalization of prostitution can be done only with proper policy implementation and close watch of government.
    As we know most of the sex workers currently are due to situations or influence of pimps/wrong people and not by choice.
    But once they get involved in this field it’s very hard for them to revive.
    So in my suggestion government policy should maintain their secrecy(Identity) and try to provide a better education and alternative employment to current workers by identify them in front of law(ID Cards or something)
    Decriminalization is important because most of them are victims and not the guilty one’s.People whose influence force them to do this work are the guilty one’s in this scenario.
    Legalization of prostitution should be for current workers only.they should have choice to choose between their current work or alternative work provided by government.
    There must be some conditions defining current workers.
    Have attained age(18 years before 2012)
    Working as sex worker for at least one year
    or something like these.
    My suggestion is to legalize current worker only and try to revive their conditions with new government schemes and all.
    Strict action should be taken against remaining pimps and brothel owners as id cards will be there to identify known sex workers.

    Statements related to counter cons of legalization of prostitution
    1. Fundamental duty in Indian Constitution: Only current workers will be allowed no future worker will be allowed as current are already in this and we cannot do anything other than this to make their life better.
    2. Women do not join prostitution by on their will(Most of them are abused, coerced and tricked into sex trade by pimps). Government should give alternative employment to sex-workers and put pimps into jail.Alternative employment will be given only to current sex workers who are working as per the norms of government and following all rules(Like HIV test and others).It will help to filter willing candidates who want to leave sex trade and can have help of government and police in their case
    3. It is not possible to protect someone whose employment exposes them to the likelihood of being raped on average once a week.
    It’s a problem and i don’t have any comments for it.but somehow if they are in group and working in a group this kind of abuse cannot happen.Our case will be different from Netherlands as we have no future policy to take on future sex workers and policy should make it very strict to anybody joining sex worker community.
    4. (Legalized sex trade=> compulsory medical checkups) True but at least we know target audience for sex education and safety measures (Unlike today’s scenario)
    5. Registered sex workers=> Aadhaar card scenario is one case but we cannot assume every case to be corrupted like it.
    6. (if Government can’t stop something then it should be legalized) Narcotic case is different,in this case we are helping to revive the conditions of current workers like rehabilitation centers do for Drugs addicts.

  2. hello folks…just a small query…
    how much of a factor is handwrting in exams??mine is okay….so i write big with sufficient space to make it legigible often just about satisfying the word limit…will it be a problem?? kindly offer your insights.
    take care.

  3. I do not believe that sex work is an immoral act. It is our culture ( that has been drilled into our subconscious through our childhood ) which states that sex is something very unnatural and unethical. Its is personally difficult for us to accept sex in its totality, as a biological phenomenon. I believe that making this field work legal will lead to broader understanding about sex and lessen people’s interest in it. Comparing Drugs and sex is like comparing alcohol and water. Sex is as natural as water and we were meant to be comfortable with it, but somewhere , somehow our ancestors went wrong.

    A persons dignity is for himself/herself to judge and maintain, you cannot say that this line of work will hamper it. It is not your call. All the crime, corruption, class, mass sexual exploitation and human trafficking is because this line of work has been tagged as illegal. Your entire article regarding this issue is based on the principle that sex is a bad/ immoral thing to do. yet we are all born out of it- making us all immoral souls :)

    As an aspiring civil servant I would like to look at the bigger picture and look for the root cause rather than making superficial anti and pro statements. P.S HIV can also be diagnosed in the window period now, I can give you an entire list of it ( being a doctor myself ) :P .

    1. Sorry to say that sir but do u really think that prostitution is good for our society..///???
      Mrunal is not saying that sex is bad or unethical but the legalisation of prostitution is unethical for the society we live in.

      Everyone knows that sex is the basic necessity of life but it doesn’t mean that sex with many people is necessary either for men or women.
      And prostitution is not going to teach any broader perspective regarding sex as there is not going to be any class there..as u also might know what are the situation there and what are the thinking of people being involved in that.
      Its not the prostitution that will prevent rape or give broader sense of sex but its the education system and the civic sense among people that is going to make some difference.

      There is hardly any women or girl that want to become a sex worker..they only became under certain pressure..
      so if something can be done in this field is- provide dignity to sex workers in society, do something to stop trafficking, provide there children a dignified life that can be given through education only..

    2. @Dr. Rahul Jha

      FRIEND please throw light how can sex work be legalised ?

      also as you are a doctor please explain all other health repercussions on a human body if a person is involve in daily sexsual work ?

      please explain in detail

  4. I think legalisation of prostitution can never be an alternative to prevent rape and it should not be lagalised as trafficking, forcing, kidnapping, smuggling etc. are crimes and crimes cannot become a law.!!!!

    Its neither legitimate nor lawful…D

  5. Don’t want to risk entire Indian women’s dignity for the sake of sex workers who are contributing 0.1% of India’s population.

  6. Very nice article mrunal sir

    Sir ek baar India and China k relationship k bare me detail article post kijiye


  7. Prostitution should be legalised but after imposing some restrictions and some guidelines also must be given. For to provide health and welfare schemes to ” unorganised workers” and to provide the better education to their childrens and their dependables legalisation of prostitution is crucially important. After legalisation this profession not only it will be well managed but also human trafficking can be much controlled as well. We can’t say that it will stop because if it will stop then why will law be made for. For example if crime will completely stop then what will be the use of law. Law was made to controll the crime and to punish. So we can’t stop the crimes after imposing rules regulation upon them but we can controll them, regulate them. We can’t stop the individuals who willfully join the profession and want to earn money for their livelihood they can enjoy their rights. Because of illetration and unemployment its the easiest way to earn money. These groups also right to live their life with dignity. It should be duty of every citizen to respect them. Not becoz for their work but for them and their condition. Coz we r also somewhere responsible for their condition. In my opinion if possible prostitution must be legalised if not then a proper guideline mandatory be given for those who still are legal brothel.

  8. same for eco tourism..cannot protect animals…so it’s either poachers or horrendous manner less noisy tourists..and shrinking spaces….poor animals!!!

  9. many toppers ( motivation story of mrunal org ) suggest gk today notes for ias .how I get gk today note through internet.Anyone can help me to answer this question .

    1. You can buy PDFs or study it online for free. You can read their various modules using scribd app conveniently without purchasing.

  10. i dont agree with counter arguments about legalization of sex trade. The assumption is that sex trade cant be prohibited that is why it is getting legalized. All counter arguments are based on assumption that legalization is done for prohibition which is not. legalization is not equal to prohibition.

  11. Finally…Shanti

    Fut ref:

    1) Arthashashtra- Prostitutes were taxed and protected. It was considered a ligitimate business even if socially unacceptable. Wives of the kind could also be “served”

    2) Manu Smiriti: Spies should be posted in places like Gambling den, brothels, bar, inn etc. cause these are the places where conspiracies are hatched

    3) In anciet India, prostitution was not taboo. Being a “Courtesan” was a honour

    4) Dev dasi culture is closely related to this and banned, under Art. 24

    P.S: Kindly do not write anything for comment war. I am only writing this for reminders and G.S purpose. If you feel offended blame them not me. Shanti

  12. Sir,
    Very well written article.
    one doubt,as it is not legal,how and where:-
    7 lakh “Registered” sex workers in India (Health ministry, 2012
    please answer

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