Supreme Court Gender Stereotypes Handbook: SC launches handbook on gender unjust terms; street sexual harassment to replace eve-teasing, sex worker in place of prostitute | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday launched a handbook that contains a glossary of gender unjust terms and suggests alternative words and phrases which may be used.

The Handbook on Combating Gender Stereotypes:

The Handbook on Combating Gender Stereotypes aims to assist judges and the legal community in identifying, understanding and combating stereotypes about women. The intention is not to criticise or cast doubt on past judgements but merely to show how stereotypes may unwittingly be employed,” said the handbook’s foreword written by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud.
Words like eve-teasing, prostitute, and housewife may soon be out of the legal lexicon and will be replaced by terms like street sexual harassment, sex worker and homemaker. “This is to assist judges and the legal community to identify, understand … stereotypes about women in legal discourse,” he said.

“The handbook features a glossary of gender-unjust terms and proposes alternative words and phrases for use in legal documents, including pleadings, orders, and judgments. The compilation identifies common stereotypes about women and demonstrates the inaccuracies of these stereotypes and how they can impact the application of the law,” the release said.

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It said the handbook also encapsulates the prevailing legal doctrine on crucial issues, particularly those involving sexual violence.
“In its entirety, the handbook aims to equip judges with the knowledge and tools to critically evaluate their own reasoning, writing and to ensure that justice is served fairly and equitably,” the release said, adding it is a significant step towards a gender- just legal order.
It said the launch of the handbook marks a significant milestone in the journey towards a more just and equitable society.
By equipping judges and the legal community with the tools to identify, understand, and reject stereotypes, it is aimed to pave the way for a more inclusive, impartial, and gender-just legal system, the release said.

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“The ground-breaking initiative under the directions of the Chief Justice of India, Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud is aimed at fulfilling the Indian judiciary’s goal of eradicating pre-conceived gender stereotypes from judicial discourse, especially those concerning women,” it said.
In the 30-page handbook, the top court has given a list of stereotypical words and suggested alternative terms for being used in legal discourses and judicial pronouncements.

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The handbook says that instead of using words like “seductress”, “whore” or “woman of loose morals”, the word “woman” has to be used.
It also prohibits use of words like “hooker” and “prostitute” and said the term “sex worker” be used instead.

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The handbook said that instead of using words such as “concubine or keep”, the expression “woman with whom a man has had romantic or sexual relations outside of marriage” has to be used.
The word “eve-teasing” will now be termed as “street sexual harassment”, the handbook said, adding that instead of word “faggot”, the term accurately describing the individual’s sexual orientation be used.
“Housewife” will now become “homemaker” for judicial discourses, it said, adding that word “mistress” be now described as “woman with whom a man has had romantic or sexual relations outside of marriage”.
It said instead of word “bastard”, the word “non-marital child or, a child whose parents were not married” should be used.





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