Acemyhomework Writers | EVOLUTION OF LAWS AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACES | Acemyhomework Writers
This might seem like a very run of the mill title at the first glimpse but the truth is that the reason I chose to write on this is not because its something that vehement feminists cannot stop clamouring against but because its a very serious issue and women of our country need to be protected against this vicious malady , sexual harassment at work place is a threat lurking over the hard earned social freedom of our women to go out of the four walls of their house . Women in India started to actively work in cities and towns around the 1970s , it was the moral duty of a so -called responsible government to protect the women from sexual harassment at workplaces with the shield of a statutory provision but nothing bearing some semblance to a statute existed to protect them . Up until 1997 , fifty years after the Independence of our dear ‘ motherland ‘ we did not have any legislation dedicated to sexual harassment .Pre-1997 the person facing sexual harassment at workplace had to lodge a complaint under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 that deals with the ‘criminal assault of women to outrage women’s modesty’, and Section 509 that punishes an individual/individuals for using a ‘word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman. No one in the country woke up till Bhanwari Devi , a women who ironically worked for the Women Development Programme in Rajasthan got repeatedly raped repeatedly and the rapists got exonerated , it was profoundly sad state of affairs and finally the landmark judgement of Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan came.Supreme Court relied upon the Convention for Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)- an international document which India has both signed and ratified. This document deals in detail with sexual harassment at the workplace. The scenario did not change much even after the Vishakha guidelines . The guidelines were more followed in the breach of protocol . There was an utterly shabby implementation of the guidelines ,for the lack of a more euphemistic description , barely in complaint committees set up and moreover many public and private had the audacity to even criticise the judgement , many of the even swept the sexual harassment complaints under the carpet but the silver lining for that many civil and non governmental organisations became aware of these guidelines and disseminated awareness regarding the same . Another landmark case happened,n the M.S. University at Baroda where a student was sexually harassed by her professor. Her protests led to victimisation and certain women’s organisations wrote protest letters to the Chief Justice of India. The letters were converted into a Writ Petition and the Court started supervising the implementation of Vishakha’s guidelines.
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