‘Sexual harassment act awareness needed for safer working places’
Speaking about the significance of ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013’, Chiranjeevi Chowdary, commissioner, department of women and child development said that representation of women at workplaces has increased after economic reforms were introduced in the country and in these times relevance of the Act is very important. “Awareness about this Act should be generated and organisations should be gender friendly,” said Chiranjeevi at a state-level consultation on the Act organised by Bhumika Women’s Coollective in collaboration with AP Women’s Commission on Saturday at Jubilee Hall, Public Gardens.
Tripurana Venkataratnam, chairperson, AP Women’s Commission questioned, “The Act was introduced in April-2013 and it needs to be questioned how many companies, universities and others have internal complaint committee at their workplaces.”
Members of different organisations working for women’s causes spoke about the gravity of problems which women face at various organisational set-ups and discussed about the guidelines mentioned in the Act. The discussion also saw suggestions from speakers about the kind of policies that need to be included in the Act.
Paruchuri Jamuna, member, Women’s Commission suggested that women working under NREGA and at construction sites, whose workplaces shift regularly, and that those kind of workplaces which do not have a permanent location need to be included in the Sexual Harassment Act.
Kalidas Venkata Ranga Rao, DCP, CCS mentioned that enforcement departments like the police are not included in the Act and in some situations wherein organisations are fined for not following guidelines mentioned in the Act, implementation becomes a problem. He added that there is no awareness among people about the Act.