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Published On: Tue, Nov 7th, 2017

Maneka launches ‘SHe-box’ online portal for sexual harassment complaints

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Maneka-Gandhi-696x376NEW DELHI :  Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday launched an online portal for registering complaint related to sexual harassment in non-government and government organisations. The comprehensive online complaint system- ‘SHe-box’ (sexual harassment electronic box) – will be hosted on the website of the Ministry Of Women and Child Developmentportal named.  SHe-Box, with the motto ‘A safe workplace is every woman’s right’.

The url of the website is shebox.nic.in. The homepage of the website gives two main options to the users. While one option is ‘Register Your Complaint’, the second one is ‘View status of Complaint’. When one clicks on the link to register a complaint, the user has to choose if she is government employee or works in a private firm. Following this a form is provided where the user can register her details such as name, designation, email, company name, Aadhaar number etc.

Talking about the initiative, Maneka said, “We are opening up the SHe-box, which is the first of its kind in the world. We will respond to any complaints by any women who have faced sexual harassment at workplace anywhere in India. We will respond and action will be taken.”A unit in the Ministry will look into every complaint filed online, she said.
“There will be a unit in the Ministry who is dedicated simply to redressing wrongs which have been expressed to us. We hope that through media more and more women will realise that they now have an avenue,” she added.
“We received 346 complaints from women employed in the government sector. Seeing such a huge response we are opening SHe-box to all women who have faced any kind of sexual harassment at the workplace in India,” Gandhi told reporters.
A cell under the ministry will look into every complaint filed online and share it with the concerned organisation’s internal complaints committee (ICC), which is a mandatory requirement under the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013. Complainants will also be able to monitor the status of the inquiry initiated by the ICC.
Elaborating on the kind of offences women can complain about online, Gandhi said, “Not just physical harassment but also complaints of being transferred or terminated by an employer, discrimination due to maternity (can be filed). It is not necessary that there is physical touch but (harassment can include) men using foul language or cracking lewd jokes.”

Under the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013, it is compulsory for any organisation with 10 or more employees to set up an ICC for addressing complaints of sexual misconduct. A committee should consist of a presiding officer who is a woman employee at a senior level in the same organisation, at least two employees “preferably committed to the cause of women”, and a member from an NGO or a person “familiar with issues relating to sexual harassment”.
The committee would have powers similar to that of a civil court and have to complete its inquiry within 90 days. An employer who doesn’t constitute an ICC could face a fine of up to Rs 50,000. (With Agency Inputs ).

 

 

 

 

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