Before Uniform Civil Code, how about a Uniform Women Code?

In the proposed UCC now  being formulated, all aspects that are related to protecting the privileges of women should be  taken out and  included in a new Uniform Women Code.

N S Venkataraman Jul 05, 2023
Representational Photo

A massive national debate has been ignited in India on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) , ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi  recently spoke about the  need for a Uniform Civil Code in India and its benefits, particularly to the women. The national debate is now  aiding  the process  of crystallising the  UCC concept and perhaps, this is what Modi wanted when he spoke on the subject.

In India’s noisy democracy,  there are reported to be around 2500 political parties,  including the small and tiny ones . Most of these parties are family controlled or under the control of local chieftains   and   sometimes they take stand on issues which are largely guided by local  and  vested interests  that overlook the national interest and priorities. It appears  that such conditions are inevitable in a densely populated   country like India, where multiple languages are spoken,  different traditional practices  are  followed   and there are considerable economic, social and educational disparities that exist between people.

In such conditions, rarely every political party and outfits agree on any reform measure   that would be introduced by the government.  Not surprisingly, there are views  for and against UCC .

The ongoing national debate appears to indicate  that a considerable section of the population understands the need and significance of UCC.  However,  a few religious bodies and regional outfits  oppose the UCC and   a few opposition political parties who consider these outfits  as their "vote bank"  are   also inclined to oppose UCC.   The supporters say that there is a uniform criminal code already in India   and   there  is no controversy on this and therefore, there should be  no objection to a uniform civil code  also. However, the critics say that this uniform civil code is a gross interference in the religious and social freedom of India's plurality. 

Some political parties  express a strange view that they support the UCC but do not like the way that the Modi  government wants to implement it. Obviously, they do not want the Modi government to take credit for implementing the policy.

Protection of women

In such a scenario, the end result  could be  that  implementation of the UCC reform measures   may create counterproductive controversies and  may  also   lead to public demonstrations   against UCC and even violence  that would  vitiate the political  and social climate in the country. Such development should be avoided.

In such circumstances what is the way out for the Modi government  to implement the much needed UCC that would serve the larger   interests of  all the women   all over  India?

It has been repeatedly pointed out by the Prime Minister Modi  and several votaries of UCC that  though there are many clauses in the UCC, the central theme of UCC is essentially to protect the rights and privileges of women and their dignity.

It is interpreted by the critics and some opposition parties in India that UCC is an attempt to reform religious practices, which is not true.  To call this bluff, it would be appropriate  that   the Uniform Civil Code should be rechristened as  Uniform Women Code (UWC) and under this head , the policy should be implemented .

In the proposed UCC now  being formulated, all aspects that are related to protecting the privileges of women should be  taken out and  included in a new Uniform Women Code.

The objective of the UWC should be clearly explained as a policy measure to ensure  that rights and liberties are uniformly protected for all women in India, whatever may be their economic and social status or religion or castes that they belong to. Such statutory protection would enable  all women everywhere in India  to live with dignity and have equal status in all respects with men.

National campaign for UWC

No one can object to the move to protect the rights and privileges of women and  even the religious groups and political parties with vested interests will not be daring enough to oppose a Uniform Women Code , as such opposition would amount to anti women stand  and consequently unpopular   and uncivilised one.

Further,  it would be appropriate to launch a national campaign in support of the Uniform Women  Code, that is bound to have all round support of women in India. Those women who are now suffering and are unable to vent their grievances  fearing the menfolk in their families and religious clergy,  may get emboldened to participate in the  popular pro-women campaign   which would  highlight  the essence of the Uniform  Women Code.

The Uniform Women Code may not be a full substitute for Uniform Civil Code. Nevertheless, it would  meet the objectives  of the Uniform Civil Code to a considerable extent.

(The author is a Trustee, NGO Nandini Voice for the Deprived, Chennai. Views are personal. He can be contacted at

Post a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Subramanian Sankaran
Fri, 07/07/2023 - 01:55
More appropriate to call Common Civil Code or Common Women Code
Sat, 07/15/2023 - 21:03
Проблемы и решения в сфере искусственного интеллекта
Wed, 08/02/2023 - 08:32
Opportunities and Risks of Artificial Intelligence
Sun, 08/06/2023 - 06:48
Learn From Our Professional Reviews