SEXUAL HARASSEMENT OF WOMEN AT WORK PLACE : IN INDIA

Sexual harassment at place of job is neither new nor rare, but it isn’t always said or maybe pointed out enough. Most running ladies face sexual harassment at place of job in a few shape or the other. It is there, but by no means acknowledged. The silence round sexual harassment most effective facilitates to intensify the problem. Sexual harassment isn’t always smooth to define. It need to now no longer been visible as an remoted issue. Actually, it’s miles an extension of the patriarchal violence, at domestic and in society, at large, however it isn’t always enough.

At the primary level, it’s miles a display of male dominance and the inherent incapacity to cope with ladies at par with men. Gender disparity, as a residing reality, is possibly the maximum continued social aberration throughout times. Such a systemic subjugation runs deep withinside the annals of patriarchal societies reducing throughout spatial and temporal dimensions and differing most effective in diploma primarily based totally on religion, class, clan, cultures and customs. Patriarchy reigns manage through making sure that ladies do now no longer have identical get right of entry to to to be had assets withinside the society and that they have got constrained mobility and decreased efficiency, main low or terrible employability.

Women themselves are carefully socialized to simply accept this unequal association unquestioningly, paintings uncomplainingly, bearing all of it silently of their stride. Though there’s no dearth of research on sexual harassment at place of job on the global level, however in case of India, only a few research had been performed. We, the ladies of India have done monetary independence a good deal greater later our united states done political independence from colonial ruler. Women have made them seen withinside the monetary sports recently. The social and cultural values and attitudes usual withinside the society pull down ladies.

However, it’s miles the mindsets and self-photographs of ladies that keep to face among them and a fulfilling life, wealthy with success and self-realization. Most ladies develop up in houses wherein they’re indoctrinated approximately the constraints and frailties of ladies, approximately the ordinary region for the ladies in social order Growing up as a girl- child, day in and day out, she receives the robust message to inspire her affiliative desires and now no longer her success desires—making her a dutiful wife, an obedient daughter-in-law, and a worrying mother.

Therefore, it changed into now no longer smooth for them to interrupt the so-called ―glass ceiling‖. Automatically, it took time for them to understand sexual harassment at place of job. In case of Assam, no systematic and complete has been performed at the sexual harassment at place of job. Therefore, if a examine is performed to apprehend the perspectives of running ladies concerning the sexual harassment at place of job, it might cross a protracted manner to assist the policy-makers and academicians to decide the destiny path of actions. With this motive the subsequent examine has been performed.

The women all over the world, irrespective of developed and developing countries, have not only been marginalized, but had suffered most cruel behaviour. Since the time immemorial, the domination of patriarchy did not allow women to live freely according to their choice. They were denied their rightful position in the society. They were silent sufferers. The biological differences gradually became gender differences in the social process. The status of women in a society is the true index of its cultural, social, religious & spiritual levels.

The problem regarding the status of women has merged as a fundamental crisis of human development, sex and other inequalities inherent in the traditional social structures, based on caste, community and class, have a very significant influence on the status of women in different spheres. The image of Indian women is deeply rooted in the social situation, myths, legends, religion and culture. Women are not treated equal to men by the society. They are always discriminated against men in all spheres of activities of life – in social, political, economical and cultural activities.

Men dominate them and women are given only an inferior position both within and outside the house. Biological determinism has one of the most important legitimizing mechanisms of women oppression over the centuries. There is nothing natural about the sexual division of labour. The fact that men and women perform different kinds of work both within the family and outside has little to do with biology and more to do with ideological assumptions. The institutions, social and cultural values etc. ensure the subordination of women.

Since the whole edifice of the economy rests on the society, economic empowerment can never be a meaningful reality without rooting out existing gender inequalities situated in the social structure. International Labour Organization, one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations Organization has always been in the forefront to highlight the issue of sexual harassment through the adoption of the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958.This organization is the only international body to have adopted an instrument containing protection against sexual harassment.

A number of countries like United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and several European countries have laws that prohibit sexual harassment at workplace. Although India does not have any specific law to protect individuals from sexual harassment at workplace, individuals enjoy certain Fundamental Rights under Part-III of Indian Constitution, which negate sexual harassment at workplace. Sexual harassment infringes the Fundamental Right of a woman to gender equality under Article 14 (Right to Equality) and her Right to Life and live with dignity under Article-21 (Right to Protection of Life and Personal Liberty). Apart from Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Work Place. It also violates her Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article-19 of the Indian Constitution.

Right to work with Dignity and Right to Protection from sexual harassment are recognized as Universal Human Rights by the International Conventions and instruments such as Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). These rights are indivisible and interdependent. The Government of India has ratified CEDAW. Gender is a power relation – the power of male over female. Freud once wrote that the two great tasks of all human beings are ―to work and to live‖. It is certainly true that people, irrespective men or women, have always worked – to satisfy their basic material needs for food, clothing and shelter, to provide for children and loved ones, to participate in community life, as well as to satisfy more culturally and historically specific desires to leave a mark on the world and to move up the social ladder. Economic empowerment helps women to live with dignity and self-respect.

Workplace equality requires significant ideological and structural changes. Sexual harassment is one of the chief ways that men resist gender equality in the workplace. It creates a hostile environment for working women. The dice is heavily loaded against women. In India, the legal directive for addressing issues of sexual harassment came from Supreme Court verdict in the Vishakha vs. State of Rajasthan in 1997. The Supreme Court stated that every instance of sexual harassment is a violation of Fundamental Right. It not only recognized sexual harassment as illegal behaviour, but also set the rules for its prevention and redressal. It is mentally harassing to a woman to fight such cases.

The judgement of the Supreme Court in Vishakha case is popularly known as the Vishakha Guidelines. The Vishakha Guidelines augured well for the status of women in India. Finally there was legal recognition of the hostility women face in the workplace, a hostility that all too often results sexual harassment. According to the Supreme Court, sexual harassment includes any unwelcome physical contact or advances; demands or requests for sexual favours; sexually – colored remarks; displays of pornography; other unwelcome physical, verbal or non verbal conduct of a sexual nature. In this judgement, it has been stressed that the presence of the  ̳unwelcome‘ element, in word or action, of a sexual nature. As the nature of sexual harassment is subjective, the  ̳unwelcome‘ component is very important in this regard. The judgment created mandatory sexual harassment prevention guidelines for the workplace, applicable all over India. All employers or head of

establishments ought to institute positive policies of behaviour and take preventive measures to prevent sexual harassment withinside the place of business. The tips direct employers to installation proceedings committees withinside the organization, via which girls could make their proceedings heard. The criticism committee have to encompass 1/2 of of girls as its members. It could be headed via way of means of a woman. To act impartially, this committee have to have 0.33 celebration illustration from Non-Governmental Organizations.

The Vishakha judgment turned into ancient and landmark judgment. Before this judgment, the places of work and employers did now no longer have any responsibility in the direction of their girls employees. But it stays the most effective tips. The floor realities stay the same. Few efforts have been made to enact the law. Very few criticism committees have been installation, provider policies have been now no longer amended, and the judgement turned into flouted each via way of means of public and personal employers.

Though the Supreme Court directed numerous expert our bodies inclusive of the Bar Council of India, University Grants Commission, Chartered Accounts Association, Medical Council of India etc. to take numerous steps concerning the implementation of Vishakha Guidelines, only a few were accomplished on this regard. In a next Supreme Court Judgement (Apparel Export Promotion Council vs. Chopra), definition of sexual harassment turned into multiplied and it turned into held that ―any movement or gesture which, whether or not immediately or via way of means of implication, ambitions or has the tendency to outrage the modesty of girl employee, ought to fall below the overall idea of the definition of sexual harassment‖. ―Broadly placed any act that has a sexual overtone and reasons soreness quantities to sexual harassment.

Another vital step towards the sexual harassment at place of business is the Protection of Women towards Sexual Harassment at Workplace; 2010.It lays down the definition of sexual harassment at place of business and seeks mechanisms to redress the grievances. It offers for the charter of an ―Internal Complaints Committee‖ on the place of business and a ―Local Complaints Committee‖ on the district and block level. It additionally held that the Complaints Committees could revel in the powers of civil courts for amassing evidences. A “District Officer” could be answerable for facilitating and tracking the sports below the Act.

There need to be more public focus and those need to have more participatory function in governance. Regarding sexual harassment, NGO‘s need to play pro-lively function and call for for judicial activism. Actually, patriarchal mind-set and values are largest demanding situations withinside the implementation of any regulation concerning girls in our society. Combating those attitudes of women and men and employees worried for the implementation of legal guidelines and structures are maximum critical withinside the prevention of undesirable sexual behaviour.

The passing and promulgation of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 on third February, 2013 is a effective step closer to the status quo of a violence-unfastened society. It is an ordinance on sexual violence in opposition to girls below which rape that ends in demise of the sufferer can now entice demise penalty. As the ordinance does now no longer incorporate all of the hints of the J. P. Verma Committee which changed into appointed through the Central Government, it’s far being protested through numerous girls organizations. It displays the gender- biased mind-set of the society. Whatever can also additionally be, it’s far crucial to preserve this in thoughts that the status quo of a gender-pleasant society needs a protracted length of continual effort, because the announcing is going on, ” Rome changed into now no longer constructed in a single day”.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

You may also like to read:

Inspirational Woman – Renuka Ray

Minors Liability in Partnership Act

Economic Reservation

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