GoMs on harassment on hold

3 min read
  1. The government has put on hold Groups of Ministers (GoMs) constituted to suggest measures on prevention of sexual harassment of women at workplace due to upcoming General elections.
  2. Central Government had constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine the existing legal and institutional frameworks for dealing with the issues of sexual harassment of women at workplace.It will also recommend further measures required to strengthen and make them more effective.
  3. The GoM was formed in the backdrop of the #MeToo movement.MeToo is a global campaign against sexual harassment and assault where women from all over the world open up and share their stories throwing light on sexual abuse prevalent in our society.
  4. Sexual harassment is a behaviour with a sexual connotation that is abusive,injurious and unwelcome and makes a person feel offended, humiliated and intimidated.The International Labour Organization (ILO) recognizes sexual harassment at workplace both as an aspect of gender discrimination and as a form of violence against women.
  5. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act,2013 is the key legislation in India for preventing and protecting women against sexual harassment at workplace and to ensure effective redressal of complaints of sexual harassment.This Act broadens the Vishaka guidelines,which were already put in place by the Supreme court.
  6. In 1997, the Supreme Court had passed a landmark judgment in the Vishakha case,for the first time defined sexual harassment and imposed three key obligations on institutions — prohibition,prevention and redressal.The Court also directed institutions to establish a Complaints Committee,which would look into matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.