Mrudula Sawant of Dilaasa Centre quoted on the gaps in implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.
As per Sexual Harrassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013 it is mandatory for all the establishments having 10 or more employees to have Vishakha committees (Internal Complaint Committee) for the protection of women. However it is observed that yet many of the establishments do not have such committees.
It is pointed out By Mrudula Sawant that in many organisations committees are just for name sake and there is no proper redressal of complaints. She said as per the law internal complaint committee should have at least 50% women as members, chairperson should be woman and at least one NGO representative having knowledge about this issue should be there. However in many companies all these norms are not followed. At times committee tries to seek redressal but either there are no witnesses or they do not come forward. At times companies try to put pressure on the complainant to withdraw the complaint or suggest her to go for reconciliation which is against the provisions of the law.
Adv. Manisha Tulpule noticed that there is a requirement that the Committee members as well as the staff should be trained about this issue and the legal provisions but there is no compliance to this.In some cases while renewing the license of the companies, compliance to the requirements of SHW was asked. However that was more of an individual interest of the concerned officer and there is no mandate about this through any circular or order. Mrs. Sawant pointed out that the Act has provided for redressal machanism, however Act has not provided for any monitoring machanism for ensuring compliance to the provisions of the law. So now there is a need to use existing systems and create some monitoring machanism.
Adv. Manisha tulpule concluded saying that the main aim of this act is not to punish men but to create environment where women would feel safe.