June 19, 2024

Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment has been identified as a term which is difficult to define as it involves a range of behaviors. Efforts have been made at both national and international levels to define this term effectively. often, the term is subjected to different interpretations. Some believe that it is better not to mingle with female colleagues so that one does not get embroiled in a sexual harassment complaint. The reality of sexual harassment incidents at the workplace is that there is more to worry about under-reporting, than people misusing the law.

In 1997, in the landmark judgment of Vishaka and others v. State of Rajasthan, the Supreme Court of India defined sexual harassment at the workplace, pronounced preventive, prohibitory and redress measures, and gave directives towards a legislative mandate to the guidelines proposed.

Sexual Harassment includes many things:

1. Actual or attempted rape or sexual assault.

2. Unwanted deliberate touching, leaning over,cornering or pinching.

3. Unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks or questions.

4. Whistling at someone.

5. Kissing sounds, howling and smacking lips.

6. Touching an employee’s clothing, hair or body.

7. Touching or rubbing oneself sexually around another person.

IP Con Sexual Harassment-

In 2013, substantial changes were made in the way sexual harassment was viewed within the criminal justice system in India.The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013, which commenced on April 3, 2013,included Section 354 A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 that defined sexual harassment.The India Penal Code, 1860 has also defined the term sexual harassment and related offences and put forth punishments for the same:

·       Section 354A- Sexual harassment is: un welcome physical contact and advances, including unwanted and explicit sexual overtures, a demand or request for sexual favors, showing someone sexual images (pornography) without their consent, and making unwelcome sexual remarks

·       Punishment: Up to three years in prison, and a fine.

·       Section 354 B- Forcing a woman to undress.

·       Punishment: From three to seven years in prison,and a fine.

·       Section 354 C- Watching or capturing images of a woman without her consent (voyeurism).

·       Punishment: First conviction – one to three years in prison and a fine. More than conviction–three to seven years in prison and a fine.

·       Section 354 D- Following a woman and contacting her or trying to contact her despite her saying she does not want contact.Monitoring a woman using the internet or any other form of electronic communication (stalking).

·       Punishment: First conviction – up to three years in prison and a fine. More than one conviction–up to five years in prison and a fine.