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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 02 January, 2023

  • 5 Min Read

Concerns of NCW Regarding Sexual Assault

Concerns of NCW Regarding Sexual Assault

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redress) Act, 2013, and the rules created must be strictly implemented, according to the National Commission of Women (NCW), which has expressed concern over occurrences of sexual harassment at coaching centers and educational institutions.
  • One of the most urgent challenges impacting women worldwide in recent years is sexual harassment at the job.
  • The NCW received about 31,000 reports of crimes against women in 2022, which was a record high compared to 2014.

About Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act:

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was passed in 2013.
  • It defines sexual harassment, outlines the processes for filing a complaint and conducting an investigation, and specifies the appropriate course of action.

Successor to:

  • It expanded the already-established Vishaka guidelines.
  • The Act defines sexual harassment at work and establishes a procedure for handling complaints.
  • Additionally, it offers defences against erroneous or malicious accusations.

Obligation:

  • Each office or branch with ten or more employees must have an Internal complaints committee established.
  • A Local Complaints Committee must be established by the District Officer in each district and, if necessary, at the block level.

Committees for complaints:

  • The ICC has similar authority as a civil court in regards to calling any individual to appear before it, having them testify under oath, and ordering the production of documents.
  • If the complainant requests it, the complaints committees must provide conciliation before opening an investigation.

Vishaka Guidelines:

  • In 1997, the Supreme Court established the Vishaka rules.
  • Vishaka was one of the women's rights organizations that brought the lawsuit into question.
  • They had brought a public interest lawsuit (PIL) on the alleged gangrape of Rajasthani social worker Bhanwari Devi.
  • She had allegedly stopped the 1992 gangrape as retaliation for stopping the marriage of a one-year-old girl.

The Causes of the Rise in Sexual Assault:

The history of violence against women is long. Since the beginning of society, women have been compelled to endure mistreatment, harassment, torture, humiliation, and exploitation. Rape is a severe problem in India. The issue has several different aspects, including:

Treating Women as Lesser:

  • Even the most fundamental principles of gender equality are still difficult for our society to accept. We continue to have alarmingly high rates of teen pregnancy, domestic abuse, and rape in marriage.
  • The idea that women are less significant is ingrained in the psyche of the average person. This demonstrates that it is widespread because it fosters male superiority in the notion that women exist to serve men.

Women are underrepresented in politics:

  • According to research, can result in more and better legislation protecting women's welfare. 48% of people in India are women. However, women only make up 12% of the national legislature.

The lack of gender education:

  • Whether in our homes, classrooms, or workplaces, Indians often feel uncomfortable discussing sexuality, reproductive rights, menstruation, or sexual desire. The main cause of the issue might be resolved with some minor adjustments to teenage education and perhaps even sooner in primary school.

The Difficult Road to Justice:

  • There are simply too many laws and not enough justice in India. The Verma Committee, established in response to the Delhi rape case of 2012, advised that attention be paid to implementation and sensitivity on the ground rather than new law introduction.

SHe-Box:

  • In order to make it easier for women to report sexual harassment, the Ministry of Women & Child Development launched the Sexual Harassment Electronic Box (SHe-Box), which offers a single point of access to all women, regardless of their employment status, whether they are employed in the organized or unorganized, private or public sector.
  • Through this platform, any woman experiencing sexual harassment at work may file a complaint.
  • When a complaint is made using the "SHe-Box," it is immediately forwarded to the relevant authority with the authority to investigate the situation.

Way Forward

  • Giving women security increases both their freedom and the right to live a dignified life as per their choices. Moral education with gender equity and respect for women should be not only taught in schools but also within families, in order to make the society more gender inclusive.

Source: The Hindu


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