This article explores the approaches that have been adopted by the Supreme Court and High Courts in constitutional cases on sex discrimination. It begins by reviewing and evaluating two competing models of equality-formal versus substantive equality. The authors illustrate the extent to which Indian constitutional law is informed by a formal model of equality, and how attempts at moving towards a more substantive understanding have been thwarted by the deeply embedded assumptions regarding equality as formal equality. They examine three competing approaches to the question of the relevance of gender difference: protectionist, sameness, and corrective. Finally, they contextualise the Supreme Court and High Court case law on gender discrimination within these debates.

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