KOCHI: A review meeting convened by a committee headed by District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla on Friday decided to sensitise working women on reporting incidents of sexual harassment at workplace.
The meeting was called following reports that no incident of harassment was reported in Ernakulam since 2013, despite the district administration constituting a committee to check harassment.
The collector in a statement said strict action would be initiated against offenders in cases of physical/mental harassment of women.
“Though a few incidents of workplace harassment were reported in the state’s unorganised sector, proper action could not be taken due to lack of guidelines. Lack of awareness might be one of the factors that prevents victims from lodging complaints. Initially, workshops will be conducted for government employees to sensitise them. In phase-II, awareness classes will be organised for employees of civic bodies,” said the collector. As per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, incidents of mental/physical harassment at workplace can be reported within 90 days.
It also stipulates that the government or the private company concerned should implement the order of the district committee - issued based on enquiry report - within 60 days. The company can challenge the order in tribunals or the court concerned within 90 days.Beena Sebastian, chairperson of the Cultural Academy, is the coordinator of the committee.