IndiaCSR News Network
NEW DELHI: number of complaints of sexual harassment of women at work place registered with National Commission for Women (NCW) during the last two years and current years shows an increasing trend. The no. of such complaints during the last three years and the current year is 170 in 2011, 167 in 2012, 249 in 2013 and 336 in 2014 upto (12/12/2014).
Safety of women in the country is of utmost priority for the Government. The Government is endeavouring to put in place effective mechanisms to provide safe environment for women. The Criminal Law (Amendment), Act 2013 has been enacted for making the punishment more stringent for offences like rape.
Provision for increased penalty for gang rape and causing serious injury to the victim resulting her to remain in a vegetative state have been made. New offences like acid attack, sexual harassment, voyeurism and stalking, disrobing a woman have been incorporated in the Indian Penal Code.
Certain changes have also been introduced in the Code Of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) and the Indian Evidence Act, like the recording of statement of the victim of rape and sexual assault by a woman police officer and provisions to ensure that the victims ( below the age of eighteen) is not confronted by the accused at the time of trial.
The Ministry of Women And Child Development has enacted the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 which covers all women, irrespective of their age or employment status and protect them against sexual harassment at workplace both in public and private sector, whether organized or unorganized.
The Ministry recognizes that incidence of crime against women cannot be controlled unless mindsets of people, in general, are made to change. The Government including NCW regularly conducts awareness creation among men and women in the society through workshops, seminars, street plays, Nariki Chaupals, Beti Janmotshav at the district level. In collaboration with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Special (Mahila) Gram Sabhas have also been conducted. Further, advertisements in the press and electronic media educating people about issues of domestic violence, child sex ratio and child marriage etc also are being taken up.
Platforms such as the International Women’s Day and the National Girl Child Day are used to create awareness on issues related to women and to bring to the centre stage issues such as sex selective abortions and child marriage.
Through Sabla programme of this Ministry, adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 18 years are imparted knowledge about their rights. Government has recently introduced the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme addressing the issue of declining child sex ratio and discriminatory social construct against women.
This information was given by the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in reply to a starred question in the Lok Sabha on 19 December 2014.