National Conference on “ Sexual Harassment at Workplace : Indian Perspective” held on 29-09-2018 in collaboration with University of Mumbai Law Academy (UMLA)
Sexual harassment is global and widespread and is tolerated as a social phenomenon. Sexual harassment may be homosexual as well as heterosexual. But the available data and court cases reveal that heterosexual mode is the most pervasive one, as rightly said by Dr. Rashmi Oza. Women because of their oppressed and subjugated position in society are far more vulnerable to sexual harassment. The working women have to face problems by virtue of their sex. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“Legislation”) was certainly one of the biggest step for not only providing protection to women at work but also towards employment laws, says Honorable Smt. Justice Anuja Prabhudesai.
According to Dr. Rekha Mahadeshwar, this Act can be regarded as a first successful effort towards building a safe and dignified working atmosphere for the women in our Indian society. Dr. Ashok Yende pointed out that prior to coming into force of this enactment, there was a black hole in the Indian law with regard to protection of women in the workplace that is, the place where she spends almost half of her time every day. Dr. Kranti Jejurkar says that though we now have a specific law to prohibit sexual harassment at workplace apart from already existing landmark guidelines of the Supreme Court of India but the menace cannot be controlled until and unless the mentality of males in general would not change. Till the basic human dignity of women is not recognized and respected by the men, no law will be effective, says Prin. Rajadhyaksha. It is vital that constitutionally guaranteed principles of equality among men and women do not remain only empty words and should be upheld in practice, said by Prof. Sameena Javed. Honorable Smt. Justice Pratibha Upasani expressed that despite being costly, illegal and an affront to dignity, sexual harassment is pervasive and challenging to eliminate. It is in the best results of the corporates to strengthen their internal policies, educate their employees, and stick to the policies, not only on paper but in spirit as well. Dr. Rajeshri Varhadi concluded that as per the Supreme Court guidelines and legislation we have, the law should be applied to both organized and unorganized sectors and to all women whether working part time, on contract or voluntarily or ad-hoc capacity.
Thus, it is truly said by Swami Vivekananda, “Country and Nations which do not respect women, have never become great nor will ever be in the future”
The participants included Professionals, Faculties, Legal Lumina, Advocates, NGO, Research Scholars and Students.