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THE NOTION OF A DUTIFUL HINDU WIFE IN THE INDIAN COURTS

By Ridhima Gupta

The legacy of India today rests on the inevitable reality of sexism and male chauvinism deeply ingrained in men and women of the society. Women all over the world are victims of the patriarchal order. This patriarchal order involving inferiorization of women manifests itself in various forms. In her adolescence, it emerges in the form of a protective father and in her maturity, the role is supplanted by a loving husband. For ages, women have been left at the mercy of men because they feel too powerless to break the chain of patriarchy on their own. Nonetheless, to escape the clutches of male supremacy, they look upon the judiciary to make right the wrongs committed in the name of culture and tradition. However, one loses hope when predetermined roles and duties of women are being sanctioned by the courts. The duty of a wife towards her husband and his family is an already established sphere from which no departure is permitted. Gender stereotyping in the Indian courts is a constant reminder of the place of a woman in a matrimonial union which is reduced to being a mere property of the husband.

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