WCD Ministry is setting up an e-platform for complaints of sexual harassment at workplace: Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi
The Ministry of Women & Child Development organized the first ever one day awareness program for chairpersons of Internal Complaints Committees constituted in all Central Government Ministries/departments under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 in collaboration with the Institute of Secretariat Training and Management in New Delhi today. The Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated the workshop. The Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Smt Krishna Raj was also present on the occasion. Addressing the participants Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 creates an enabling environment for women to work without fear. The workshop will help the Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs) to implement the Act more effectively, the Minister added. The WCD Ministry has taken several steps to ensure the enforcement of this Act including printing and distribution of handbooks as a ready reference. Smt Maneka Gandhi urged the Chairpersons of ICCs to ensure that all affiliated organizations with their Ministries set up ICCs in their offices. Smt Maneka Gandhi asked the participants to ensure the genuineness of a complaint while carrying out the enquiry and to complete every enquiry within the stipulated time frame. The information about the number of complaints received and processed under the Act must be included in the annual reports of the Ministries, she urged. The WCD Minister disclosed that the Ministry is also developing an e-box to receive such complaints online. The Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Smt Krishna Raj said that the Act is very useful since even senior female officers of Government have reported sexual harassment at workplace. The workshop will help to create awareness and will help in effective implementation of the Act, she said. More than 50 heads of ICCs constituted in all central government ministries/departments participated in the workshop. The workshop had a session on Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace, Salient features of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 by eminent resource person Ms. Jyotika Kalra, Advocate and Hon’ble Member NHRC. This was followed by a Mock Session of Internal Complaint Committee. Government of India is the largest employer in the country employing 30.87 lakh people to carry out its various functions. As per the Census of Central Government employees, 2011, women constitute 10.93% (3.37 lakhs) of the total regular Central Government employees. To ensure safety and security of women at workplace, the Government of India has enacted the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. The Act covers both the government and private sectors.