In an attempt to ensure that women are safe in workspaces, the Union women and child development (WCD) ministry is launching an online complaint box. ‘She-box’ will ensure that help is now a mouse-click away for the women government employees who face sexual harassment at work.
This online complaint box will be hosted on the ministry’s website (www.wcd.nic.in), where any woman employee who faces sexual harassment or abuse at work, can log in and report an incident. She-box will be launched by WCD minister Maneka Gandhi on Monday, said reports.
The initiative was necessitated as the ministry was receiving a lot of complaints from women employees ruling the delay in the investigation of such cases.
“Once a complaint is registered, we will forward it to the ministry/department where the woman works. We will also follow it up with the respective ministry as to what action has been initiated,” said a senior WCD ministry official, reported Hindustan Times.
“Also many women are hesitant to come forward and complain against a colleague/senior where she is working. SHe-box provides anonymity to complainants,” said a ministry official.
While the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act in India is inconsistent, there have been numerous complaints of workplace harassment lately. In 2015 (the latest year for which figures are available), the National Crime Records Bureau registered 119 cases and charge sheeted, 71 people. Five were convicted during 2015. Many organisations – both in government and private sector — are yet to set up a fully functional internal complaints committee (ICC) to handle sexual harassment related grievances, a mandatory requirement under the law.