Sexual harassment has become almost a disease afflicting more and more of females in our society. Now when our economy is growing and the country is developing, there is a social change that has opened avenues for the womenfolk in our society. Education has spread to them and employment opportunities are increasing which they pursue and thus in Government organizations and institutions the number of women employees is increasing with the passage of time.
It has come to the notice of our social workers and responsible circles in the Government that the menace of sexual harassment has increased manifold and many women office goers are made victim of male harassment. Numerous complaints are coming to the higher authorities and the police about sexual harassment. This has caused concern to the leaders and governing machinery. They are looking for remedial measures. The Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD) Maneka Gandhi said that his Ministry has launched a portal, for the online complaint management system – ‘She-box’ (sexual harassment electronic box) – and it would be hosted on the WCD’s website. So far only the Government women employees were authorised to lodge their complaints on line and monitor the action taken. But now under fresh orders women employees of private or semi-Government organization too can upload their complaints and monitor the follow up process. They will have no need of going to the police station and registering their complaints.
This is a highly commendable decision of the Ministry concerned. The harassed women employees are generally shy to go to the police of lodge the complaint with their officers and superiors. It is easy and reassuring to lodge the complaint through the net. The complaint will be passed on to the concerned cell which in turn has to submit a report on what action has been taken. Even the proceedings of enquiry will also be monitored. In this way a breakthrough will take place and the discipline will be restored in the administration.
While we are highly satisfied with the step taken by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, we would also like the State Government taking identical steps and constituting Internal Complaint Committee to monitor the implementation of the clauses of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013. Though the menace of sexual harassment of women in Government and non Government organizations and agencies in the State is low yet prevention is better than cure.