KOCHI: Former Supreme Court judge Justice K T Thomas inaugurated the Centre for Women and Family Studies (CFWS), and a training programme on ‘Legislative Measures against Sexual Harassment in Educational Institutions, in Kochi on Thursday.
At the function, organised in association with the Kerala Women’s Commission, Justice K T Thomas addressed the gathering by elucidating the important provisions that exist in statutes like the Indian Penal Code that provide protection to women against sexual offences. He also impressed upon those present Section-96 of the IPC, which states that nothing is an offence which is done in exercise of the Right to Private Defence. He also emphasised on the need for educating the society about gender sensitisation.
Sheena Shukkur, Vice-Chancellor (i/c), NUALS, presided over the function.Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson K C Rosakutty expressed her concern over the growing injustice being done to women.
She stressed the importance of gender sensitisation and the need for spreading awareness on ensuring gender justice, and thereby social justice.M C Valson, director, Centre for Environment and Law, NUALS; V S Sebastian, former dean, Faculty of Law, Cusat and member, of executive council, NUALS; and V R Jayadevan, director of the Centre for Health Law and Policy, NUALS, also addressed the gathering.
Most of them emphasised on the need for gender sensitisation and the need for change in the attitude and mind-set of the people. Sheeba S Dhar, director(i/c) Centre for Women and Family Studies, welcomed the gathering. The training programme consisted of three academic sessions. The first session was chaired by Seemandini V P, president, the Kerala Federation of Women Lawyers.
She elaborated on the provisions in the Constitution on Gender Justice and the provisions in various statutes, like the Indian Penal Code, the Hindu Marriage Act and the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, which have been enacted for the protection of women.
The second session was chaired by Sonia K Das, assistant professor of the Government Law College, Thrissur.
She shed light on the various legislative measures against sexual harassment in India, their evolution. She also provided an overview of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act - 2013.
The third session was chaired by Lida Jacob. She dealt with the implementation of the legislative measures against sexual harassment in educational institutions.
She said that implementation is the most important part in a legislative framework, and that successive implementations can cause a sea of change in the existing problems of women.