#MeToo in India: MHA constitutes Rajnath Singh-led panel to look into sexual harassment at workplace

The Centre Wednesday constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine the existing legal and institutional frameworks for dealing with matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.  The GoM will recommend action required for effective implementation of the existing provisions, as well as for strengthening the existing legal and institutional frameworks for addressing issues related to sexual harassment at workplace, a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

 #MeToo in India: MHA constitutes Rajnath Singh-led panel to look into sexual harassment at workplace

File image of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. News18

According to the MHA's statement, "The Group of Ministers has been constituted in view of the felt need for broader consultation on this issue, from the point of view of developing appropriate recommendations and laying down a comprehensive plan of action and for ensuring its time-bound implementation."

The GoM will be chaired by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The other members of the GoM are Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi.

Within three months of its constitution, the GoM will examine the existing provisions for the safety of women, including those mentioned above, and recommend further measures required to strengthen and make them more effective.

"The government is committed to ensuring the safety and dignity of women in the workforce," the MHA statement said. "The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act is the key legislation for preventing and protecting women against sexual harassment in the workplace and to ensure effective redressal of complaints of sexual harassment," it added.

As per the statement, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has also launched an electronic complaints box that enables women, irrespective of their work status, to report any instance of sexual harassment at their respective workplace. Once a complaint is submitted to the ‘She-Box’, it is directly sent to the concerned authority having jurisdiction to take action into the matter.  A mechanism will be put in place to regularly monitor the action taken on the complaints.

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Updated Date: Oct 24, 2018 17:47:05 IST