Menaka Gandhi takes firm stand against sexual harassment of women at workplace
Women and Child Development departments of States are silent on formation of Internal Complaints Committees in the private sector
New Delhi: India’s Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has written to various Chambers of commerce and industry, including FICCI, CII, ASOCHAM and PHD, regarding the constitution of Internal Complaints Committee at the workplace to deal with complaints of sexual harassment.
In her letter, the Minister has pointed out that the Ministry of Women and Child development has been receiving complaints from women working in the private sector about the absence of such a committee in their organizations. Many Members of Parliament have also personally raised their concern on this issue, the Minister said.
The Minister has also asked the Chambers of commerce and industry to furnish the compliance on this issue every month to help the Ministry formulate a strategy for those entities that do not comply with the provisions of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi today, Ms. Gandhi said that she is also writing to the Chief Ministers of States to ensure formation of Internal Complaints Committee in various organizations in the States. The Minister said that the Secretary, Union Ministry of Women and Child Development had written to the Secretaries of Women and Child Development departments of States for setting up such Committees seven months ago, and asked them to furnish report on the action taken. However, no response has been received from the States till date.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 provides for the constitution of an Internal Complaint Committee by establishments having 10 or more employees. This Committee is required to examine the complaints of harassment of women at workplace.