Friday, 31 July 2015

Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act 2013 Key to Empower Women:Experts

By 121 News

Chandigarh 31st July:-The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 can be a game changer in empowering women, enhancing their safety and security and providing them protection against sexual harassment at workplace, if implemented and followed in true spirit. This was shared by Mrs Jatinder Peters, Faculty from society from Human Resource Management (SHRM) & Secretary PETROTECH while addressing the Seminar on preparedness of the corporates under the act organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) at CII NR Headquarters in sector 31 A, here today.

She informed that the Act has made it mandatory for all organisations like corporates, societies, firms, Govt bodies to form a formal Internal Complaint committee with a woman as its chairperson, 50 % of members as women and a member from an NGO as well to lend it objectivity. The law applies to women harassed in the workplace including women working as domestic workers, daily wagers, temporary or permanent, full-time or part-time, as well as volunteers. The women may or may not be employed and can be of any age. She added that for the unorganised sector, like the domestic helps, the district level committee would have the powers of civil court and can even summon persons or information.

Vandana Puri, Business Head, SHRM said that the Act is both preventive and remedial in nature as it calls for penalties to the violators as it also encompasses redressal of complaints of sexual harassment. It has even defined the harassment widely including verbal attack like passing obscene remarks, gestures or sending obscene messages or pictures, using double meaning phrases, lewd gestures etc with women. It also defines its various penalties objectively.

Pikender Pal Singh, Regional Director, CII NR, said that CII is aggressively advocating and encouraging its members to properly implement at and follow the provisions of the act and form an internal complaints committee in the organisations to enhance safety of women. The role of the employer in safeguarding the rights and well-being of their women employees has become prominent in the recent years and it is critical for Companies, Directors and Senior Management to be aware of their responsibilities and obligations under The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 ("Act") and the rules. Hence to spread awareness about it, we organised today's seminar.


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