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#MeToo movement: Govt forms panel to strengthen existing legal, institutional frameworks

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 24, 2018 Published on October 24, 2018

As a fall-out of the #MeToo movement, the Central Government has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine the existing legal and institutional frameworksfor dealing with the issues of sexual harassment of women at workplace.

The GoM will be chaired by the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh. Its Members are Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, and Shipping, Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister for Defence, and Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women & Child Development

“The GoM will recommend action required for effective implementation of the existing provisions, as well as for strengthening the existing legal and institutional frameworks, for addressing the issues related to sexual harassment at workplace,” a press statement issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) said.

“The Group has been constituted in view of the need felt for broader consultation on this issue, from the point of view of developing appropriate recommendations and laying down a comprehensive plan of action and for ensuring its timebound implementation,” it 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,” the statement said.

The Government is committed to ensure the safety and dignity of women at workplace. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act is the key legislation for preventing and protecting women against sexual harassment at workplace and to ensure effective redressal of complaints of sexual harassment.

The Group of Ministers will, within 3 months of its constitution, 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.

Published on October 24, 2018
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