GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Issues related to women
Context: The Indian Supreme Court has expressed concern over the “sorry state of affairs” in the implementation of the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act.
Key issues highlighted by the Supreme Court regarding the implementation of the PoSH Act:
|Uncertainty in Implementation||Uncertainty about whom to approach in case of sexual harassment at the workplace.|
|Reluctance||Lack of confidence in the process and its outcome of the PoSH. Women facing sexual harassment in the workplace are reluctant to report such misconduct.|
|Insensitive comments||A hostile, insensitive, and unresponsive working environment towards women employees hampers the success of the Act.|
|Non-Compliance in forming ICC||E.g., Only 16 out of 30 national sports federations in the country had constituted Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs) mandated under the 2013 Act.|
|Fear of Stepping out of Homes||– If authorities/management/employers cannot assure women a safe and secure workplace, they will fear stepping out of their homes to make a dignified living and exploit their talent and skills to the hilt.|
|Inquiry Process||Many times the inquiry process has been done in a “hurry” without adherence to the principles of natural justice.|
- The Union, States, and UTs have been directed by SC to undertake a time-bound (8 weeks) exercise to verify whether Ministries, Departments, government organizations, etc., had constituted Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs), Local Committees(LCs), and Internal Committees(ICs) under the Act.
- These bodies were ordered to publish the details of their respective committees on their websites
National Commission for Women (NCW) had asked all states to ensure that coaching centres and educational institutes strictly enforce the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
“Though women in post-Independent India have excelled in various fields, the social attitude towards women and the feminist movement has been patriarchal.” Apart from women’s education and women empowerment schemes, what interventions can help change this milieu?” (UPSC 2021)