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Sexual Harassment as a Problematic Issue

  • Category: Law
  • Topic: Sexual Harassment
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1834
  • Published: 29 April 2018
  • Downloads: 213
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This paper basically deals with the information regarding the victim of sexual harassment where Sexual harassment means any act performed by one or more persons on another without consent. It may include the use of force or threat. This study was a descriptive analysis of sexual harassment. Shame, fear, cultural norms and unawareness all allow sexual harassment to go under-reported. There is so much which we don’t know, but the research is the one which tells us some specific about the problems and the factors that makes it better or worse in various workplaces. There is a long alleged history of sexually preying against actress, journalist and government employees and scare them into silence. It is very important to acknowledge the gravity of sexual harassment of the working women at the workplaces and laid down rules and guidelines making it mandatory for employers for the prevention the act of sexual harassment and to provide the procedure for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of the act of sexual harassment. India and Nepal are two countries who have given women equal franchise and it also has a highly credible record with regard to the enactment of laws to prevent and promote the interest of women. But women still deny continuing the economic, social and legal rights.

Sexual harassment is a very big problem and issues where women and men work together. Sexual harassment involves more than just physical conduct; it can also be verbal or visual. Sexual harassment harms us all because it takes away from having a respectful, dignified and comfortable work environment. The Sexual Harassment is being recognized as a violation of human rights. The status of women in India and Nepal has varied throughout history. In the late 20th century, like in any other Asian countrywomen in India and Nepal were generally subordinate to men in virtually every aspect of life. Nepal like most societies in the present world was a rigidly patriarchal society. Women relative status, however, varies from one community to another. Traditionally, in India, woman have four-fold status-role sequences. These were her role as a daughter, wife, housewife (homemaker), and mother. The woman, whose status and role traditionally was well defined and almost fixed in the society, is now experiencing far-reaching changes. The woman in modern times is entering into certain new fields that were unknown to the woman’s sphere of rule-sets. They are actively participating in social, economic, and political activities. The women of the present generation have generally received higher education than the women of their preceding generation. There had been far-reaching consequences in the economic status of their family. The modern women are inclined towards the social issues and trying hard to improve the social status of women at large. Increased awareness and education has inspired women to go out from the four walls of the home. Many women actively supported and participated in the nationalist secured eminent positions and offices in administration and public life in free India. Traditionally in India women exist because of the family and for the family. Just like their man counterpart, women are also fond of attending social functions and value her social life quite a lot. Previously, men-folk used to discourage women from leaving their households from attending social functions. Now the spread of education, especially that of women, and with that the changing social attitudes of educated women have changed the order. The modern woman has started caring for her health, figure, cultural needs and interests, academic pursuits, social intercourse, religious activities recreational needs, etc.

LAWS IN INDIA AND NEPAL

In the context of Nepal, Sexual harassment in workplace Act 2067 has been drafted with the intention to safeguard the right to work in a safe and decent environment and to create a legal framework to eliminate sexual harassment in workplaces.

The constitution of Nepal of 2072 had guaranteed that no person should be discriminated against on the basis of origin, religion, race, caste, tribe, sex, physical conditions, disability, health condition, matrimonial status, pregnancy, economic condition, language or geographical region, or ideology or any other such grounds.

An amendment of 1975 to the civil code introduced the provision on property rights for women.

Sexual harassment prevention Act (Asaya Karani ko Mahal) of Muluki Ain was the only law that dealt with the offenses related to sexual harassment.

According to a new published in The Himalayan Times, 12 girls, women raped in a month, 29 news items related to the rape of girls and women in a month. The newspaper carries 44 news reports for 10 incidents of murder of women and girls. Likewise, the newspaper had carried 10 news reports for three sexual harassment cases. Sancharika Samuha, a forum of women journalists and communicators, had been monitoring the print and electronic media for more than a decade with a view to analyzed the trend of media coverage of violence against women cases and recommending ways to reduce violence against women through media.

In the four years period, a total number of 55 cases were examined as sexual harassment cases. It was observed that majority were of the 13-15 years of age group(46%) followed by 10 years (20%), 16-20 years (16%), 20above (11%) and 10-12 years (7%). The relationship of the victim to alleged perpetrator, 87% cases (48 out of 55) were related to acquaintances compared to 13%due to strangers. 3.6% of cases (2 out of 48) were due to the biological fathers of the victims.

Nepal police arrested 13 for sexual harassment on public transport: After the campaign was launched against sexual harassment on public transport 13 was charged with sexually harassing a teenage girl. According to the police suspects aged between 18 and 30 years were arrested in one week of the operation.

It is a sequel of the article published in 2013 which put forward that compliance by the private sector organizations to the Supreme Court Vishakha guidelines (1997) was poor and absence of legislation worked to the advantage of employers. Three years of enforcement of the 2013 Act sexual harassment of women persists and continues to be one of the critical issues faced by the private sector (Krasta, 2017; Jha 2017; TNN, 2017; Voices of Women, 2017). The published complaints demonstrate the least attention by employers for prevention and resolution of sexual harassment which has led the complainants to approach social media or law enforcement agencies such as police for help (Mishra, 2017; Financial Express, 2017; Hakim 2017)[4]

There are so many cases happened against the women of sexual harassment at the workplace both in India and Nepal. A young woman from Nepal and of very idealistic nature Itishree Pradhan had many dreams; one of them is giving education to children by teaching them about the life. She got this opportunity a few years back when she joined the primary school at Tikiri in Kashipur block of Rayagada district in Odisha. That, however, it turned out to be the worst decision of her life, one for which it had paid for her own life. In 2013, 27 October, Itishree, 27-year-old, she was forcefully set on fire by an unidentified man because she had refused to withdraw her sexual harassment

In Kerala, a man has been held in Kozhikode for sexual harassment charges against a woman after video goes viral on the internet. The accused has been booked under IPC sections pertaining to “sexual harassment, assault or criminal force to women with intent to disrobe and stalking”.

In Jharkhand, the assistant professor accuses Vice Chancellor and 4 others of sexual and mental harassment. An FIR has been registered at the SC/ST police station in the city in this regard.

The case had imposed challenges on Regulations 46 and 47 of the Air India Employees Service Regulations. With the challenge being posited on the grounds that the aforesaid regulation created a substantial degree of discrimination between male and female on a multitude on grounds such as promotional avenues, differential retirement ages, conditions pertaining for the termination of the Air hostesses’ services in cases of pregnancy or marriage. Later, in this case, the supreme court of India held that the clause regarding retirement and pregnancy as unconstitutional and thus ordered for them to be struck down. Furthermore, Regulation 47 experienced a similar fate, for it was found that the said regulation suffered from an excessive delegation of powers without any reasonable guidelines to police the same.

Sexual harassment is a problematic issue where women and men work together, even though prohibited both by law and by workplace policy. It has been the most increasing issues in both Nepal and India. Female workers are very much vulnerable to sexual harassment by their male co-workers. It has a great impact on the lives of the working women. Their performance mental, as well as physical health, is also affected. The government of Nepal has identified gender equality and women’s empowerment as a major policy and also has been encouraging the government to get rid of all forms of bias against women and to work in close teamwork with civil societies. There should be proper check in the various working place especially the one woman who is employed. The government also should make the women aware about their rights against the harassment at workplace. There must be an equal distribution of resources between men and women. The provisions and laws should be made strict not only in India but also in Nepal so that no other women will face problems like Vishakha, and many other women who have been through sexual harassment at workplaces. The greatest need according to the demand of today’s generation is a change of social attitude of the people towards the women. Along with generating awareness regarding gender issues, sexual harassment, efforts need to be made in the direction of the generation of appropriate data for analyzing women development in every employment sectors either it is in the government sector, private sector, journalism, cinema, politics or education sector in a more useful manner. There should be sexual harassment policy in their organization to maintain a fair and productive working environment and implementation is a must. Abusive demands for targeted verbal harassment should be addressed at all levels like legal educations, personnel offices. As the findings, the main reason behind mostly women being a victim of sexual harassment is due to less number of females in working sectors and potent remedy to it is to increase the number of women in the workplace. In conclusion, eradication of this type of social problem is not simple and a day work. So, joint efforts are needed. A grass root level awareness generating program is of the utmost importance to the problem. As we know it is the time of media playing a crucial role to keep public aware and informed about each and every problem through the help of media this issue can be solved.

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