Centre for Social Research has contributed it’s support to generating awareness and combating sexual harassment at workplace by developing India’s first online course on the Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act that in partnership with Rainmaker and Ford Foundation. It is referred to as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), this is a free course featuring lectures by Dr. Ranjana Kumari accompanied by written course material explaining the requirements of the sexual harassment law. This Massive Open Online Course (“MOOC”), will provide the learner with a fundamental understanding of this Act in a simple, concise and comprehensive manner. It will introduce the mechanisms and procedures instituted by the Act to enable a safe working environment for women. We will then study the various remedies available, including civil and criminal remedies, under the Act and other applicable laws as well. The objective of the online course is to provide individuals of society a well-informed and holistic understanding of all the elements constituting sexual harassment- the act, the prevention and the solutions to combat it.
“To have effective, healthy and productive working environments, every institution/organization/unit, where more than ten people work together, should be responsible for ensuring the compliance of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act.” – Dr. Ranjana Kumari – Director, Centre for Social Research
Sexual harassment is the single most under-reported crime in most societies. Mostly all sexual assaults are against women. Sexual Harassment is encountered by women in all spaces of the everyday life, be it the household, the streets, the offices etc. In every space the dynamics vary and thus the way to tackle the issue of sexual harassment would also vary. One such space that needs significant intervention is that of the ‘workplace’. Sexual harassment at workplace typically ranges from mildly distasteful sexist comments and jokes, pornographic pin-up posters, provocative electronic mail and X-rated computer software all the way to outright assault and rape in extreme cases. Sexual favours rather than merit and hard work often effect women in male-dominated workplaces of any kind.
In every organization all the individuals are responsible for helping to maintain a work environment free from sexual harassment and the first step is prevention. To be able to move towards a gender sensitized & secure workplace, it has to do more with than just adopting workplace polices. There is a need for a wide understanding of the meaning of those policies and a commitment among the colleagues and staff at the workplace to adhere to them. Instilling such an understanding about sexual harassment and related policies is the right thing to do and essential for people to stay productive. Sexual harassment is harmful, not only to the perceived victim, but to the entire workplace. It can cause staff turnover, absenteeism, low morale, reduced productivity, loss of firm reputation and costly litigation or human rights complaints, as well as stress and problems to the general health of the people involved.
CSR’s Gender Training Institute also helps Organizations in creating gender sensitive workspaces in compliance with the Act.
Discuss this article on Facebook