Gender biased India think, in India only Women can be victims of sexual harassment, with blessing of women organizations government is planning to make SHWB Only for women; even there is clause to make gender neutral as per article 14 and 15(1) of The Constitution of India.
Studies and reports provided by women organizations show only women are harassed, as there are no reports done on men as in India Government think all men are Rapists. Here is one of the report sent my Feminists “Sexual harassment is all about expression of male power over women that sustain patriarchal relations. It is used to remind women of their vulnerability and subjugated status. In a society where violence against women, both subtle and direct, is borne out of the Patriarchal values operating in society, force women’s conformity to gendered roles. These patriarchal values and attitudes of both men and women pose the greatest challenge in resolution and prevention of sexual harassment.
Studies find that sexual harassment is still endemic, often hidden, and present in all kinds of organizations. Yet it is still not always viewed as a problem, which has to be systematically tackled. The issue is of concern for both women and the employers as studies show that sexual harassment touches lives of nearly 40-60% of working women”
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors; Sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behavior (whether directly or by implication) as:
(a) Physical contact and advances
(b) A demand or request for sexual favors
(c) Remarks of sexually meaning
(d) Showing pornography
(e) Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
(f) Do Favors for sex or demand sex in return.
Where any of these acts is committed in circumstances where under the victim of such conduct has a reasonable apprehension that in relation to the victim’s employment or work whether she is drawing salary, or honorarium or voluntary, whether in government, public or private enterprise such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem it amounts to sexual harassment.
If any women targeted under harassment of sex, she can use many existing laws
Section 209, IPC deals with obscene acts and songs:
Whoever, to the annoyance of others:
a) Does any obscene act in any public place or
b) Sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term, which may extend to 3 months or with fine or both. (Cognizable, bailable and triable offences).
-Section 354, IPC deals with assault or criminal force to a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty and lays down that:
Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine or both.
-Section 509, IPC deals with word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman and lays down that:
Whoever intending to insult the modesty of any woman utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or both. (Cognizable and bailable offences).
-Civil suit can be filed for damages under tort laws. That is, the basis for filing the case would be mental anguish, physical harassment, loss of income and employment caused by the sexual harassment.
-Under the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (1987) if an individual harasses another with books, photographs, paintings, films, pamphlets, packages, etc. containing “indecent representation of women”; they are liable for a minimum sentence of 2 years. Further section 7 (Offenses by Companies) holds companies where there has been “indecent representation of women” (such as the display of pornography) on the premises guilty of offenses under this act, with a minimum sentence of 2 years.
There are already so many laws in favor of women. as with 498a(Dowry Law) DVA (Domestic Violence Act) these Women centric laws already terrorized every home and broken many families, now these feminists targeting working place too. As other gender biased laws this will be another tool to blackmail men and to avoid such future amendments or misuse this Bill to be made gender neutral.
Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill should thus be made gender neutral so that it does not violate Article 15 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination on grounds of gender. Moreover, Article 15(3) does not allow women to be exempted for Punishment for committing the same crime as men, such as sexual harassment.
The Act should be made applicable to all employees, irrespective of their gender. The word woman should be replaced by the word employee in all appropriate places in the draft Bill so as to render the proposed draft gender neutral.
Under Definitions of this BILL;
(d) “Committee” means an Internal Complaints Committee constituted under section 4;
(e) “District Officer” means an officer appointed under section 5;
(h) “Local Committee” means the Local Complaints Committee constituted under section 6;
(i) “member” means a member of the Committee or of the Local Committee, as the case may be;
Members of Committee or Officers should not be from same Office or Organization or from gender based organization but from Social service / retired judges / teachers / Professors who are not single or divorced and committee should consist of equal number from both genders. And there should be governing body in every district to complain against this committee for malpractice or injustice.
Every Working place should have their own enquiry committee, only after their enquiry and proofs any employee can approach Legal Committee for remedy, and this enquiry committee should held responsible along with accuser if any malpractice or accusation found false.
Complaint to be filled within a month of the incident and enquiry to be done without causing any nuisance in working environment which effect life or working atmosphere of Accused employee unless accusations are proved. It will avoid any embarrassment and mental trauma if employee is falsely accused.
Clause to be added in said Law, as those who found misusing for their own gain or withdraw after fulfilling their demand to be penalized, terminated from job and also made to pay damage to the victim of false accusation. Only this Clause will STOP all form of misuse of said BILL.