Increase in Sexual Harassment cases at Workplace during the last eighteen months: Reply by Govt. in Parliament
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 952
TO BE ANSWERED ON 14.12.2022
INCREASE IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASES AT WORKPLACE
952. SHRI NARANBHAI J. RATHWA:
Will the Minister of Women and Child Development be pleased to state:
(a) whether it is a fact that sexual harassment cases at workplaces in the country have increased during the last eighteen months;
(b) if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether sexual harassment cases in Banks are higher than IT services companies; and
(d) if so, what steps Government has taken or proposes to take in this regard?
MINISTER OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
(SHRIMATI SMRITI ZUBIN IRANI)
(a) to (d): The Government has enacted “the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013” (SH Act) which aims to provide protection to women against sexual harassment at workplace and for the prevention and redressal of complaints related to it. The Act covers all women, irrespective of their age, employment status or nature of work whether working in public or private, organised or unorganised sector. The Act casts an obligation upon employers of all workplaces, public or private, to provide a safe and secure working environment free from sexual harassment, whereby every employer is mandated to constitute an Internal Committee (IC) where the number of employees/ workers is more than 10. Similarly, the Appropriate Government is authorized to constitute Local Committee (LC) in every district to receive complaints from organizations having less than ten workers or if the complaint is against the employer himself. The Act has enough provisions to deal with various aspects of the matter including penal provisions for those who violate the provisions of the Act including for the employers.
The Act casts an obligation on the employers to organize workshops and awareness programs at regular intervals for sensitizing the employees with the provisions of the Act and orientation programmes for members of the Internal committee. Being the Nodal Ministry, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) issues advisories to all Central Ministries /Departments and State Governments/ Union Territory (UT) Administrations from time to time for effective implementation of the Act and to organize workshops and awareness programmes at regular intervals for sensitizing the employees.
The responsibility of the implementation of the Act at District and State levels rests with the respective State Government\ UT Administrations, which also monitor the implementation of the Act and maintain data on the number of cases filed and disposed of in respect of all cases of sexual harassment at workplace, which are established, owned, controlled or wholly or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the State. The State/ UT/ district-wise and Sector/ Services-wise details of number of cases of sexual harassment filed and resolved is not maintained centrally.