इंडियन आवाज़     24 Feb 2024 12:26:36      انڈین آواز

Sheila against sexual harassment at work place

She inaugurated a two day long training workshop on prevention of sexual harassment at work place for members of Departmental Complaints Committees at Delhi Secretariat.  Around 100 employees and other women activists are taking part in this workshop.  Delhi WCD Minister, Prof. Kiran Walia, Chairman Delhi Commission for Women Barkha Singh, Secretary Women Commission P.M. Singh and other senior officers were present.  The workshop has been organized by the Delhi Women Commission with an aim to bring awareness on the issue and instill a sense of confidence and safety in women employees.  

Speaking on this occasion, Mrs. Dikshit stated that the DCW has been, in fact, taking a lead in organizing such an important workshop which will facilitate useful interaction and flow of information.  The capital City of Delhi is having a large number of working women.  Such women have to daily travel to reach their place of work and back to residence.  It has been noticed that on certain occasion women employees are forced to face unpleasant situations in their offices as well as during their travel time.   We have to provide them safety and a sense of dignity.  The City Government along with the DCW has been working in this direction. 

I do feel that concerted efforts are needed. Departmental Complaints Committees have been constituted in 70 Departments under the city Government.  The Committees comprises of three senior officer / staff of the department to initiate steps to prevent sexual harassment of female members in the department.  Sexual harassment at the workplace is an area which is seldom reported as the complainant fears facing subsequent harassment.  This is exactly the reason why there is a need to build an awareness and change in the way women feel and handle the issue. 

The perpetrator, the person responsible in harassment, should be aware that it would invite saver action under the existing civil services rule in the case of government servants and relevant provisions of criminal law for others.  Women must know that they are smarter than man.  They are more educated in today’s society.  Mrs Dikshit exhorted the women employees to join together to express their solidarity against such incidents.  They will have to develop sensitivity amongst others.  They must learn how to protect themselves and seek assistance in case situation becomes out of their control.  The DCW has been taking result oriented steps but a long way has to go and a cultural change is needed.  She also released a hand book on prevention of sexual harassment at the work place.  She underlined the importance of its wider distribution in all offices under government and private sector. The hand book lays down the definition of sexual harassment, as well as what constitute the work place and the procedure to be followed.  It focuses on the issues which often crop up before the sexual harassment committees.  Smt. Dikshit expressed hope that interaction in two day workshop will be helpful in bringing awareness on this issue and make our society a safer place for working women.

Prof. Kiran Walia stated that participation of around hundred women employees in workshop will help in building a common understanding on sexual harassment as defined by the Supreme Court of India, defining the workplace and understanding sexual harassment within the context of the work place and understanding strategies for the prevention and redressal of sexual harassment at the work place.  She also complimented the efforts of the DCW which has been working sincerely to ensure betterment of women of Delhi.  She further expressed hope that members of the departmental complaints committees will be trained in this workshop and they will go back and spread awareness about creating a healthy work environment in their work places so that the women work force of Delhi government feels free and secure.

DCW Chairperson, Barkha Singh stated that Delhi is the first State to appoint protection offices under the prevention of women from domestic violence, constitute 43 Mahila Panchayat, to set up a 24 our mobile helpline service for women in distress, to extend state level legal support to victim of rape and established the first in the country a Rape Crisis Cell apart from operationalising more than hundred gender resource centres to empower women in the capital city.  Smt. Barkha Singh added that the complaint should be taken up on urgent basis and quick process of enquiry be initiated so that the message that sexual harassment is a very serious offence goes down the entire department.

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