Navigation Links
India Grapples With First Bill to Stop Workplace Sex Harassment

India's government is grappling to come up with the first ever legislation aimed at stopping sexual harassment and provide minimum protection to women joining the workforce of its booming economy.

A draft law set to go before parliament when it resumes next month aims to put an end to everything from dirty jokes to physical abuse, but is already being criticised by some as too flimsy and by others as open to abuse.

The draft brands "gestures of a sexual nature whether verbal, textual, physical, graphic or electronic" as "unwelcome conduct," but it applies only to women working in the organised sector.

"Finally, this bill will empower Indian working women to fight back injustices they have been suffering for decades," said Jaya Arunachalam, a prominent Indian feminist.

But she added that "89 percent of 270 million workers in the unorganised sector are women who have no protection at all from exploitation and sexual oppression."

The draft only covers factories, hotels, airlines, textile mills, parts of the farm sector and offices. Arunachalam, who heads the 700,000 Working Women's Forum, said the draft needed more teeth.

"This bill is not too clear on the protection it offers to those millions of women" in the unorganised economy, Arunachalam said by telephone from the southern city of Chennai.

"Crucial things like the unorganised sector have been left out from the proposed law," agreed Malini Bhattacharya, a member of the National Commission of Women, a body set up by parliament in 1992 to safeguard women's rights.

"Sexual harassment, especially in the unorganised sector, is rampant."

Out of India's hundreds of millions of working women, as few as 1.5 million can be considered to be a part of the formal sector that would be protected by such legislation.

Still, for those women a law would be welcome news, as discrimination and h arassment in offices are seen as rife.

In a 2005 case, Indian air force pilot Anjali Gupta was court-martialled for misconduct after she accused three superiors of sexually harassing her -- a year after three trainees were also sacked when they levelled similar charges.

And a 2005 survey by the Confederation of Indian Industries reported only four percent of women in the organised sector held senior management positions.

The draft offers victims leave from work, transfers if they wish and compensation from money deducted from the salaries of their tormentors.

The woman behind the initiative, R. Saraswati from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, said she hoped to see a bill put before deputies after parliament resumes on August 6.

But the response from men's rights groups have highlighted challenges the text is likely to face in India's feisty, male-dominated parliament.

"The lazier ones (women) will exploit the legislation to further their career," said Swaroop Sarkar, the head of the Save Family Foundation.

The Protect Indian Family group said such a law would open the way for "rampant misuse."

"In this bill hearsay will be the clinching evidence," said forum director P.R. Gokul, though he acknowledged something needed to be done.

National Commission of Women member Bhattacharya said a storm could only be expected.

"Wherever there is a law, the possibility of its misuse cannot be ruled out," she said. "But it is unfortunate that such arguments immediately follow whenever issues of women's rights come up. We don't buy this."


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Is Diabetes the Leading Cause of Kidney Failure in India
2. AIDS Disaster in India is Imminent
3. Indian Prime Minister has successful Knee Replacement Surgery
4. International community warns India on HIV situation
5. India takes on foot-and-mouth disease by vaccinating animals
6. Development of AIDS vaccine -- Chiron Corp in talks with four Indian cos
7. India to benefit from pharma companies move
8. Healthcare sector is now a multi billion-dollar industry in India
9. The World Bank funds private Hospital in India
10. Parke-Davis (India) runs into rough weather – Court orders attachment of asset
11. Indian Doctor granted US patent on organ regeneration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... becomes the first in the area to offer AngioPlex™ Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) ... disease, such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and other vascular conditions. , In ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... The National Association for Children ... organization representing the growing community of recovering individuals (now over 23 million), to ... in policies addressing addiction. , Although many of the presidential candidates of ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... The producers of Enterprises TV ... , The increasingly modern world of instantaneous consumption proves very convenient for businesses. ... such as oil and coal, which pollutes our air, water, and soil. It can ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... When an Au Pair comes all the way ... they are in for and they are often worried things won’t go well. More often ... for. This year’s Au Pair of the Year winner’s all commented how their Au Pairs ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... According ... hernia surgeries are beginning to account for a significant portion of hernia repairs throughout ... Towfigh of the Beverly Hills Hernia Center notes that this trend has not only ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... PAULO , Feb. 12, 2016 ... commenced a cash tender offer (the "Tender Offer") ... million outstanding aggregate principal amount of its 6.500% ... and ISIN Nos. US44915JAA88/ USP5246AAF05) (the "Notes"). In ... soliciting (the "Consent Solicitation") consents (the "Consents") of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... PLATTSBURGH, NY , Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Demers Ambulances ... Florida to Okaloosa County ... 164 Type III ambulances and one LT2 van. Quality Emergency ... Demers dealer, is responsible for the sale.  This is the ... Benoit LaFortune , Executive Vice President at Demers. --> ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016  SI-BONE, Inc., a medical device company that pioneered the ... invasive surgical (MIS) device indicated for fusion for certain disorders of ... the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) covering the states of ... , Massachusetts , Minnesota ... , Rhode Island , Vermont ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: