‘Sexual Harassment’ as stipulated in the Sexual Harassment of Women a Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 includes any unwelcome sexually determined behaviour- physical contact and advances, demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing pornography, or any other unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature. The wide definition takes into account all direct or implied acts of such nature.
As per this Act, a woman should not be subjected to sexual harassment at any workplace. The Act has provided a wide inference to the term ‘workplace’, which takes into account the actual place of work and the areas connected to it. This includes the transport facilities that the employee uses to commute to her workplace. The Act is applicable to both the organised as well as the unorganised sector in India.
Under this Act, it is mandatory that every workplace establishes an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at all its branches or sub-offices in organisations where at least 10 or more personnel are employed; and further mandates for the appointment of an external member to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
Since the Act states that the External Member should be a person from an NGO committed to the cause of Women, AWAG serves as a member of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) against sexual harassment of women at the workplace at the following institutes:
- Reserve Bank of India
- Income Tax Dept, Ahmedabad
- Punjab National Bank
- Human and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO)
- Gujarat Police Department
- Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation
It is obligatory for all employers to provide a safe working environment by ensuring the strict implementation of the Act and policy, not just to satisfy the law-makers but as a step towards harnessing gender equality and justice.
To appoint AWAG as part of your Internal Complaints Committee (External Member), please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org