BHUBANESWAR: Sexual harassment at workplace is a form of discrimination and violation of women’s rights. A large number of women working in organised and unorganised sectors are subjected to sexual exploitation which not only affects their efficiency but also impairs them mentally, said noted lawyer of Supreme Court Kirti Singh.
Addressing a workshop on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act here on Wednesday, Singh said the State Government must ensure that local complaint committees (LCCs) are set up in each district to address grievances of working women.
Singh elaborated on the modalities of the Act, its jurisdiction and limitations, at the workshop organised by Odisha State Commission for Women (OSCW).
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pati said enactment of a law will not serve the purpose unless implemented in true spirit. “The administration will not be in a position to pursue corrective action without a holistic assessment of implementation of the law at all levels,” he said.
Pati directed Women and Child Development Department to create an institutional mechanism to monitor effective implementation of the Act. He also asked the Department to ensure that internal complaints committees are set up in institutions of both organised and unorganised sectors with each having a workforce of more than 10 employees.
Chairperson of OSWC Lopamudra Baxipatra said women working in unorganised sectors in remote areas are being sensitised about the law and encouraged to approach the authorities concerned in case they face sexual harassment.
Elaborating on the measures adopted for proper implementation of the Act, Commissioner-cum-Secretary Women and Child Development Department Saswat Mishra said an assessment is being made on setting up LCCs across the State.
Collectors have been instructed to appoint nodal officers at block levels who can easily be approached by women working in unorganised sectors, Mishra added.
Among others, Additional Chief Secretary Taradatt, DGP Police Training Binoy Behera, Police Commissioner RP Sharma and Additional DGP, State Human Rights Protection Cell AM Prasad were present.