‘I BE­LIEVE EV­ERY SIN­GLE COM­PLAINANT’

Women and Child Devel­op­ment Min­istry will set up a com­mit­tee of four re­tired judges to ex­am­ine the com­plaints

The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE -

“I be­lieve in all of them. I be­lieve in the pain and trauma be­hind ev­ery sin­gle com­plainant,” Gandhi said, adding that the panel would ex­am­ine the le­gal and in­sti­tu­tional frame­work to han­dle com­plaints. “These cases have been elephants in the room... The ques­tion is how can they prove these af­ter all these years”

THE Min­istry of Women and Child Devel­op­ment will set up a com­mit­tee of four re­tired judges to ex­am­ine com­plaints that have come to fore from the #MeToo In­dia move­ment.

The com­mit­tee will look into the le­gal and in­sti­tu­tional frame­work, which is in place for han­dling com­plaints of sex­ual ha­rass­ment at work­place and ad­vise the min­istry on how to strengthen these frame­works.

Re­cently, sev­eral women have come out on so­cial me­dia — both iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves and anony­mously — against peo­ple who have al­legedly sex­u­ally ha­rassed them. The #MeToo In­dia move­ment has found res­o­nance among women from Bol­ly­wood, me­dia and ad­ver­tis­ing fields.

Maneka Gandhi, Min­is­ter of Women and Child Devel­op­ment, said on Fri­day that she would urge women from all sec­tors to come out fear­lessly and re­port cases of sex­ual ha­rass­ment. The min­istry would pro­vide “all pos­si­ble as­sis­tance” to the women, an of­fi­cial state­ment said.

The state­ment said women can re­port their griev­ances in cases re­lated to sex­ual ha­rass­ment through mul­ti­ple mech­a­nisms. Com­plaints can be given to in­ter­nal com­plaints com­mit­tees (ICCs) or sub­mit­ted through its She-Box (www.she­box.nic.in), which pro­vides a sin­gle win­dow ac­cess to women, ir­re­spec­tive of their work sta­tus to reg­is­ter com­plaints. Women can also mail at min-wcd@ nic.in or tweet at #Help­MeWCD and the min­istry will take up the com­plaints with the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned.

The state­ment said the min­istry fol­lows zero tol­er­ance towards sex­ual ha­rass­ment of women at work­places. This would ex­tend to part-time and full-time fe­male work­ers in or­gan­ised and un­or­gan­ised sec­tors, said the state­ment.

The min­istry said it would en­sure work­places are con­ducive for women em­ploy­ees, ICCs are in place as re­quired and in­ves­ti­ga­tions into com­plaints are carried out in swift man­ner.

Seven dif­fer­ent women have re­ported very, very se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and mo­lesta­tion against this man. He has sex­u­ally as­saulted all seven of them, that is what is be­ing claimed

Swati Mali­wal, Delhi Com­mis­sion for Women chief, in a state­ment

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