ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Examining Local Committees under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act

One of the major milestones of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is to provide a special redress mechanism for complaints in the unorganised sector. Section 7 of this act mandates the constitution of local committees by the state government. However, there remains a lack of data when it comes to understanding the functioning of the local committees. This paper examines the functioning of the local committees in general, based on the experiences of the author as an acting chairperson of the Mumbai city district local committee.

Implementing or Ignoring the Law on Sexual Harassment?

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was passed in 2013 but not many companies in Mumbai have taken its provisions seriously or formed the mandatory internal complaints committees. A survey of how complaints by women were treated by some companies and what the internal committee members had to say shows that employer response to their women personnel and staff victimises the victim.

Sexual Harassment of Women

The private sector in India has by and large not been very receptive to women's complaints about sexual harassment at the workplace. This article highlights the importance of company policies on sexual harassment, the role of their human resource departments, and says that the private sector has to clearly articulate and uphold its code of conduct to prevent and address sexual harassment at the workplace. The effectiveness of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 remains to be seen.
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