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  • 68% Victims avoid reporting sexual harassment at workplace: INBA survey

    January 07, 2017

    According to a recent survey conducted by the Indian National Bar Association, 68% of the victims of sexual harassment at workplace did not report to the management about the incident, due to fear of retaliation and discrimination.

     The survey covered 6,047 people, of which 78 per cent were females, working in sectors such as BPOs, IT, education, legal and hospital
    Of the total, 38 per cent claimed of sexual harassment at workplace, while 50.7 per cent said they had been targets of it online, or on social networking. Further 42.2% of the victims complained of undergoing stigma attached with the abuse.

    The survey report includes a critique on the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. It points out several practical impediments in implementing various provisions of the Act, such as lack of clarity in the definition of “unorganized sector”, mechanism for identifying false complaints, no budgetary allocations for the mandatory Internal Complaints Committee etc.

    The survey results revealed that the complaints committee, as mandated in the Act, in most organizations either did not have knowledge of the procedure prescribed under the Act, or did not adhere to the same despite understanding of the same. 66.7% of the complainants also felt that they weren’t dealt with fairly by the Complaints Committees.
     

    OUR TAKE

    Sexual Harassment at workplace is one of the biggest problems our women are facing today. We rarely pass through a week without a reminder of these kinds of incidents which should be termed as “social problems”.  The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 suffers from various ambiguities. The law is very general and is not sensitive to different natures of the workplaces. The agricultural sector and residential areas for domestic helps are not sensitive to LCC and its proceedings. The acts needs to be amended so that it becomes more suitable to various other sectors as well.


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