Sexual harassment in the workplace is a human rights violation that affects the social, economic and political participation of women in the workforce
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a growing problem in a patriarchal society like India. With women’s participation in the workforce increasing each year, India Inc. has a huge responsibility to ensure their workplaces are safe from harassment and gendered expressions of power.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal under Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013. This law also mandates every organization above 10 employees to have a complaints committee and conduct sensitization programs for its employees.
To address the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace, Azaadi strongly recommends the following actions
- Graduate students about to join workplaces should be adequately trained on this issue and must be aware of the provisions of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013, including their rights in the workplace.
- Organizational approach towards sexual harassment in the workplace has to be proactive instead of reactive.
- All organizations must have a functional complaints committee with trained members who are equipped to deal with complaints and incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Employers need to fulfil their legal responsibility for raising awareness on the issue. Additionally they should ensure adequate assessment to measure effectiveness of their sensitization programs.
- Organizations have to strongly assert, implement and practice a ‘zero tolerance’ approach towards sexual harassment in the workplace.
- There should be adequate provisions to support victims on a mental and emotional level, for them to cope with their experiences and deal with their situation better