Amid rising cases of sexual harassment at workplace being reported in the recent part as part of the #MeToo movement, the government on Wednesday constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine the existing legal and institutional frameworks for dealing with such matters.
The GoM will recommend the action required for effective implementation of the existing provisions, as well as for strengthening the existing legal and institutional frameworks for addressing issues related to sexual harassment at workplace. The GoM has been constituted in view of the need felt for broader consultation on this issue. It will be chaired by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Other ministers on the panel include Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman and Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. The panel will examine the existing provisions for the safety of women, including those mentioned above, and recommend further measures required to strengthen and make them more effective within 3 months.
While forming the GoM, the Centre said that it is committed to ensure the safety and dignity of women in the workforce. "The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act is the key legislation for preventing and protecting women against sexual harassment in the workplace and to ensure effective redressal of complaints of sexual harassment," the Centre said.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has also launched an Electronic Complaints Box that enables women, irrespective of their work status, to raise their voice against sexual harassment at workplace. Once a complaint is submitted to the ‘SHe-Box’, it is directly sent to the concerned authority having jurisdiction to take action into the matter. A mechanism will be put in place to regularly monitor the action taken on the complaints.