The Constitution of India not only grants equality to women but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women for neutralising the socio-economic, educational and political disadvantages that they could be facing. The Fundamental Rights, among others ensure equality before the law, equal protection of law, prohibit discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and grant equality of opportunity to all citizens in matters relating to employment.
Article 14 confers on men and women equal rights and opportunities in the political, economic and social spheres. Article 15 prohibits discrimination against any citizen on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex etc. Article 15(3) makes a special provision enabling the State to make affirmative discriminations in favour of women. Similarly, Article 16 provides for equality of opportunities in matter of public appointments for all citizens. Article 39(a) further mentions that the State shall direct its policy towards securing all citizens, men and women, equally, the right to means of livelihood, while Article 39(c) ensures equal pay for equal work. Article 42 directs the State to make provision for ensuring just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. Above all, the Constitution imposes a fundamental duty on every citizen through Articles 15 (A) (e) to renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women.