Since the last few days, sexual harassment is being discussed at every nook and corner, behind the door, in the vanity, at the parties and even at the workplaces. This is one of the most underrated crime making a movement like #MeToo movement which is also an eye-opener.
Women have been frankly speaking up against the assaulters. But there are certain rights that women should know of.
There are certain basic points about the Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (‘the Act’) which all the women should be aware of so that we know what can be done if they face harassment.
1. Women who work full time or part time or as an intern have protection under this act. But to form the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), there should be at least 10 employees from the company or the branch of the company; else the case can also be taken to the local committee.
2. Girls should also know what sexual harassment really means. Sexual harassment is anything which appears sexual, unpleasant and inappropriate.
Any of the following incidents include sexual harassment.
-Physical contact or advances
-Demanding or requesting sexual favors
-Any other unwelcome physical, the verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
-Intervening with work or creating a threatening work environment for the woman
- Embarrassing behavior can affect health and safety.
3. in case a woman feels sexually assaulted, you can file a complaint in writing to the Internal Committee. In case of no internal committee, one can always go to the local committee. It can be filed within 3 months after the crime took place.
4. when the inquiry is taking place, one might not feel like working with those people. In such cases, one can claim relief under section 12 of the Act. By writing to the committee, the woman can ask the employers to:
* transfer you or the respondent
* give you leave for 3 months
* grant relief as prescribed under the Act.