Online filing of sexual harassment complaints to become a reality soon

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sex-harassTo address the issue of sexual harassment at workplace in government offices, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has decided to establish a secure electronic platform so that women employees can file complaints.

The ministry said that these complaints will be then taken up with the respective ministries or departments. It will be a transparent system to ensure monitoring of the complaints.

A senior official will chair an inter-ministerial committee constituted by the WCD Ministry and the committee will review the progress of disposal of complaints of sexual harassment.

This decision was taken in a review meeting on implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, which was chaired by Maneka Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development, in New Delhi.

Officials from the WCD Ministry, Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Railways and Department of Financial Services were present at the meeting.

Gandhi expressed her concern that the complaints of sexual harassment were not being handled in a timely and a sensitive manner.

She also said that harassment often continues over a period of time and it is only after it becomes unbearable that a woman comes out to complain.

In such situations, it will be the duty of Internal Complaints Committee to decide on the complaint in the shortest possible time, the minister said.

All ministries concerned have been asked to furnish a monthly report to the WCD Ministry on the number of complaints received, disposed, pending and action taken. An annual statistics of complaints will also be provided to the ministry.

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