Central Govt Forms Group Of Ministers To Address Sexual Harassment At Workplace
Union Government on October 24, formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) under the leadership of Home Minister Rajnath Singh to examine and strengthen the legal institutional frameworks to address sexual harassment at workplace.
As per The Indian Express, other members of the GoM are Minister of Woman and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
Maneka Gandhi said on Wednesday, “The Government has constituted a GoM to strengthen the legal and institutional framework to deal with and prevent sexual harassment at work. This is in line with WCD Ministry’s mission for a safe and conducive work environment for women” reported Hindustan Times. The GoM has been given a time period of three months to examine the existing provisions for woman safety and recommend further measures to make them more effective.
This development comes days after Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar was forced to resign after several women journalist accused him of misconduct and harassment when they worked under him in different media organisations.
Prime Minister and other senior leaders like Sushma Swaraj did not comment on the allegations made on social media against MJ Akbar. The formation of GoM shows that the government is taking the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace seriously.
The Logical Indian take
Sexual Harassment is more a result of power imbalance and indifference of those in charge than any other factor as it has been proven by cases which came forward in the recent MeToo movement. The misery of victim is aggravated and many such crimes go unnoticed and unpunished if general perception is that the people in power do not care about such issues. So, in addition to improving legal and institutional framework, it is hoped that this step will help in changing this general perception and the belief that laws can be ignored with impunity.