Prohibit social exclusion of women : Gujarat High Court

In Nirjhari Singa V. Union of India, the Gujarat High Court has issued a set of guidelines to the State government with a view to prohibiting the social exclusion of women on the basis of their menstrual status. 

The Bench of Justices JB Pardiwala and Ilesh J Vora also expressed their concern over the discrimination of women based on mensuration. 

The Bench also passed directions in a writ application filed in the wake of an incident at Sahjanand Girls Institute in Bhuj, Gujarat, where around 68 girls were forced to undergo a strip test and remove their undergarments to prove that they were not menstruating.

The writ petition was filed by Jan Sangarsh Manch and Director of AltNews Nirjhari Sinha. The application was filed with an objective of having a specific law on the exclusion of women on mensuration. The application also sought directions to the government to undertake aggressive awareness programmes and to ensure that no educational institution, hostel or living space for women follow social exclusion of women on the basis of their menstrual status.

Advocate Megha Jani appeared before the court for the applicants and submitted that discrimination based on mensuration is violative of our fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 17, 19 and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

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