PREVENTION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT THE WORKPLACE

PremBabu Sharma

Staring, lewd remarks, wolf-whistles… Which woman in India has not faced this in public spaces?And today, as large numbers of women enter the workforce, they also increasingly face sexual harassment at the workplace.

The newly enacted Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 has made redressal and prevention of sexual harassment within the workplace acentral concern for all organisations in India. Despite enactment of the law, its implementation is lacking among government agencies, public sector undertakings, educational institutions and private business.

PRIA has organized this conference on Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace to sensitize men and women towards this set of issues and deliberate upon ways and means to accelerate implementation of this important legislation. PRIA has been working to promote such awareness and compliance for the past five years. It has worked with a diverse set of actors in this regard, like National Commission of Women, Airports Authority of India, ILO/Labour Directorate, several universities and colleges, private business and Panchayati Raj Institutions.

PRIA has designed and developed a one-of-a-kind, innovative online training capsule on this Act to help organisations get compliant with this law. Comprising three modules, each of only an hour, employees and employers can learn in a short time what constitutes sexual harassment at the workplace, provisions of the Act and the redressal mechanisms available to them should they face such a situation. Click for more details of the course.

The conference will also see the release of Engendering the Workplace:
Gender Discrimination and Prevention of Sexual Harassment in Organisations, a book written by Dr Martha Farrell, Director, PRIA, who has been working on this issue for over a decade. The book is going to be released by Dr Pinky Anand, Additional Solicitor General, Supreme Court of India.

As Dr. Martha Farrell, author and developer of the course says, “It is not only a matter of compliance with the law, but actual learning by both men and women on this set of issues that is equally important. With the book and the online eLearning training course, PRIA aims to impart the knowledge and the will to change behaviour, in order to create a conducive workplace environment.”

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