Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Conversation - V

(On Sexual Harassment at Work Place, Safety of Women - Law and Remedies...)

Me: What's the matter ? The tongue that never ceaseth, lies but taskless ! ?

Avinash: Nothing, brother. Just a little something chewing my nerves.

Me: Ok, you can let 'em chew mine for the time being. Speak up.

Avinash: (Sighs). Well..umm..I'm not sure if it would be right for me to share this information with you.

Me: I didn't know you had information concerning National Security.

Avinash:  It concerns somebody's privacy.

Me: See, if you think that it's something in which I can help you out then I think you should tell me. You can keep the names to yourself. OK ?

Avinash: I don't know......Ok.
There's this friend of mine who works as an Executive in a multinational IT company. She bagged this job a couple of years back during her college's campus placement. Since the last 2 years she has been very upbeat about her job profile and her office life. In short she enjoyed her job, till  couple of months back, when I noticed that she started remaining depressed and became quite irritable.

Me: Ok

Avinash: Despite my repeated queries she never disclosed the cause, till yesterday, when I caught her crying and insisted her to tell me what's going on..............

Me: Please don't hesitate...continue.

Avinash: After a lot of persuasion she told me that she has been denied her due promotion.

Me: Alright. Listen. Things like these happen. You know what,  life isn't always fair. You should encourage your friend to move on and work with double the verve, so that she definitely wins her promotion the next time.

Avinash: It's not that simple. What you just said was also somewhat my reaction, but there's more to it than meets the eye buddy.

Me: Tell me.

Avinash: After assuring her that our little talk will remain private, she told me the real story behind denial of her promotion.

Me: Go on

Avinash: A couple of months ago, their head office sent a new Office Manager to their local office here. Initially he was quite affable towards everyone including my friend, but eventually he started picking her petty faults and began to publicly humiliate her.

Me: Are you telling me that her previous bosses had never done such things ?

Avinash: I asked her and she told me that she has been one of those few employees whom their bosses always look out for in times of need, for by her sincerity and mettle she had carved quite a name for herself in the office.

Me: Ok

Avinash: So, initially she could not see beyond the apparent and kept thinking that it must be her fault. One day her boss called her to her chambers. After giving her a quick dictation for an official correspondence he embarrassed her by asking something very personal to her. Now please don't ask me what's the question. Just know that it relates to something intimate & sexual....Ok ?

Me: Go on go on..

Avinash: Things didn't stop there, he repeatedly kept inviting her for late night dinners. He'd often talk obscene stuff right in her presence. Then one day he invited her to join him on a two day vacation trip to a nearby tourist spot. My friend decided to end the matter for once & for all. So she finally explained to her boss that she isn't the kind of girl he thinks her to be and that it wold be best if he stopped persuading her.

Me: What was his reply ?

Avinash: At that moment there was none. But after a harrowing two months of public display of bossiness, he finally took his revenge by not recommending her promotion to the Head Office. And thus a hard working, sincere employee, having dedicated two and a half years of her sweat and blood was denied recognition just because her pervert boss could not have his way with her.

Me: Yeah, a classic case of  sexual harassment at workplace.

Avinash: What ?

Me: Sexual harassment at workplace

Avinash: Did you just coin that phrase?

Me: No I didn't coin it. What you described is a case where a man, taking advantage of his official position, is indulging  in indecent behavior with his subordinate colleague and since this is happening in the office, we refer to it as a case of sexual harassment at workplace.

Avinash: Ok. Tell me everything about it, may be this can help my friend.

Me: In 1997, the Supreme Court of India while delivering its landmark judgment in the case of Vishakha Vs. State of Rajasthan, recognized the menace of sexual harassment at workplace. The Hon'ble Court not only held it to be a violation of human rights, but also laid down a comprehensive definition and set of guidelines regarding the problem and issued directions for immediate follow up action by the incumbents.

Avinash: What had happened in the Vishakha case ?

Me: A female social worker in a tribal village of Rajasthan, fighting, if I'm not mistaken, against the vice of child marriage, was brutally gangraped by men who were opposed to her work. Though that case was the subject matter of a separate criminal trial, the incident brought to the fore the hazards to which working women of our society are exposed. Aggrieved and enraged by the incident, an NGO by the name of Vishakha alongwithe other social activists, filed a class action petition in the Hon'ble Supreme Court with the aim of focusing attention towards this societal aberration, and assisting in finding suitable methods for realization of the true concept of ‘gender equality’; and to prevent sexual harassment of working women in all work places through judicial process.

Avinash: Are you telling me that at a time as late as 1997 when India had already claimed to be a welfare State, there was no legislation to offer protection to the class of working women.

Me: No. It was with this objective only that the petition was filed before the Supreme Court, so that till appropriate legislation is enacted, the Supreme Court finds an effective alternative mechanism to fulfill this felt and urgent social need.

Avinash : Just a little while back, you said that sexual harassment amounts to violation of human rights, how is that ?

Me: Of course it does. Not only human rights but also constituitional rights guaranteed under our Constitution. You see aach such incident results in violation of the fundamental rights of ‘Gender
Equality’ and the ‘Right to Life and Liberty.’ It is a clear violation of the rights under Arts. 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.  One of the logical consequences of such an incident is also the violation of the victim’s fundamental right under Art. 19 (1)(g)  (i.e. to practice any profession or to carry out any occupation, trade or business).

As per "The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993" the term human rights means the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in International Covenants and enforceable by Courts in India. So upon a conjoint reading of all the Constitutional safeguards provided to women in our country and the definition of human rights under The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, it is clear that sexual harassment at workplace is not a trivial folly but an act as grave as one resulting in violation of the victim's constitutional & human rights. So its bound to attract the highest form of penalty possible.

Avinash: But you said that there are no laws in place, to counter this evil.

Me: By laws I meant that there are no Parliament made laws. But in the Vishakha case, the Hon'ble Supreme Court seized the opportunity and besides laying down the meaning and definition of sexual harassment at work place, also drafted a set of comprehensive guidelines to counter the problem, . That judgment has, by virtue of the existing legal principles, the force and effect of law, till an appropriate legislation is enacted by the Parliament. While so doing, the Supreme Court has relied on CEDAW (Convention for Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women ) a sort of treaty / international accord which India has signed and ratified. But that by itself does not translate the treaty into a domestic law, not until our Parliament has formally passed a legislation touching that subject matter.

Avinash: Alright. Tell me what exactly is sexual harassment at workplace.

Me: As per the judgment of the Supreme Court, sexual harassment at workplace is defined as

 any such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as :
a) Physical contact and advances;
b) a demand or request for sexual favours;
c) sexually coloured remarks;
d) showing pornography;
e) any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non - verbal conduct of sexual

Avinash: This means, what my friend's boss did, clearly falls in this category of behavior and thus amounts to sexual harassment at workplace.

Me: You bet. Why else do you think I said that it was a classic example. There's more.

Avinash; Yeah sure. Go on

Me: The legal protection is attracted as soon as any of these objectionable acts is committed in circumstances whereunder the victim of such conduct has a reasonable apprehension that in relation to the her employment or work, such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem OR that it is discriminatory, for instance when the woman has reasonable grounds to believe that her objection against such action would disadvantage her in connection with her employment or work including recruiting or promotion or it may create a hostile work environment. Now it is immaterial whether the victim / complainant is drawing salary OR an honorarium OR working voluntarily. It is also irrelevant  whether she is working in Government, public or private enterprise.

Avinash What are the guidelines ?

Me: The Supreme Court, by its judgment has enjoined a heavy duty upon the employer to prevent and / or deal with instances of sexual harassment at workplace. It shall be the duty of the employer or other responsible persons in work places or other institutions to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment by taking all steps required.

So far as prevention is concerned :-

All employers or persons in charge of work place whether in the public or private sector should take appropriate steps to prevent sexual harassment. 

Without prejudice to the generality of this obligation they should take the following steps:

(a) Express prohibition of sexual harassment as defined at the work place should be notified, published and circulated in appropriate ways.

(b) Awareness of the rights of female employees in this regard should be created
in particular by prominently notifying the guidelines ( and appropriate legislation when
enacted on the subject ) in a suitable manner.

(c) The Rules/Regulations of Government and Public Sector bodies relating to conduct and discipline should include rules/regulations prohibiting sexual harassment and provide for appropriate penalties in such rules against the offender.

(d) As regards private employers, steps should be  taken  to  include  the aforesaid prohibitions in the standing orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.

(e) Appropriate work conditions should be provided in respect of work, leisure, health and hygiene to further ensure that there is no hostile environment towards women at work places and no employee woman should have reasonable grounds to believe that she is disadvantaged in connection with her employment.

Avinash : Can't the victim initiate criminal proceedings against the perpetrator ?

Me: Why not? The Supreme Court has made it clear that none of its guidelines will prevent the victim from taking recourse to any other remedy if available to her under the civil or criminal law of our country. Furthermore, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has pronounced that it is obligatory on the employer that where such conduct amounts to a specific offence under the Indian Penal Code or under any other law, the employer shall initiate appropriate action in accordance with law by making a complaint with the appropriate authority. In particular, it should ensure that victims, or witnesses are not victimized or discriminated against while dealing with complaints of sexual harassment. The victims of sexual harassment should have the option to seek transfer of the perpetrator or their own transfer.

Avinash : Suppose the misbehavior is such that it does not attract criminal action, then what options are left with the victim ?

Me: Where such conduct only amounts to misconduct in employment as defined by the relevant service rules, appropriate disciplinary action should be initiated by the employer in accordance with those rules.

Avinash: Ok. tell me one thing, whenever a person feels that he's made a target of sexual harassment then whom should that person go to.

Me: You've raised a vital question. The Supreme Court order also speaks elaborately on establishment of Complaint Mechanisms. Thus the law is that whether or not a particular conduct constitutes an offence under law or a breach of the service rules, an appropriate complaint mechanism should be created in the employer’s organization for redress of the complaint made by the victim. Such complaint mechanism should ensure time bound treatment of complaints. The framework of that mechanism ought to be in the prescribed manner. That is to say the complaint mechanism,, should be adequate to provide, where necessary, a special counselor or other support service, including the maintenance of confidentiality. The Complaints Committee should be headed by a woman and not less than half of its member should be women. Further, to prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence from senior levels, such Complaints Committee should involve a third party, either NGO or other body who is familiar with the issue of sexual harassment. The Complaints Committee must make an annual report to the Government department concerned of the complaints and action taken by them. More to this, employees should be allowed to raise issues relating to sexual harassment at workers’ meeting and in other appropriate forum and it should be affirmatively discussed in Employer - Employee Meetings.

Avinash: What if a third person, say a person not under the control or employment of the office, causes harassment to an employee ?

Me: Where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by any third party or outsider, the employer and person in charge will take all steps necessary and reasonable, to assist the affected person in terms of support and preventive action.  None of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court will prejudice the remedies available under the civil, criminal laws of our country including those available under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. We all must understand that the guidelines and directives of Supreme Court, if disobeyed, shall attract Contempt action against the erring individual / organization, besides other penal hardships. 

Avinash: With such full proof mechanism in place I'm sure women must be feeling much safer in their workplaces.

Me: The answer is a shocking 'No'. There has been widespread breach of the guidelines, rarely have any complaint committes been set up. There has been a blatant disregard for the rules. Its not that law is toothless, rather what happens is that the victims in most cases refuse to go public with the fight against sexual harassment at their places of employment. I guarantee you, if the matter is taken before the High Court or the Supreme Court, then everyone starting from the company to each and every person responsible for the day to day administration of the company including its HR (Human Resource) department heads will face the wrath of the Courts. For their non compliance of the Visakha case guidelines, not only would have led to the suffering of some innocent person but also would have resulted in an undeniable case of Contempt of Court. 

Avinash: Is there any chance of any legislation being drafted in the near future ?

Me: Well, from what I've read, our Parliament has already given its nod on 10th May, 2012 to the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill. I haven't had the opportunity to read the bill. But I hope that its a good bill with a holistic approach, cognizant of the Supreme Court's guidelines, for the protection of women at their workplaces.

Avinash : What advise would you give to my friend ?

Me: Honestly, I will advise your friend to consult a lawyer, only if she is serious to fight against her capricious boss and willing to speak freely about the facts to her lawyer. However, for the time being, in my considered opinion, she should immediately write a letter to the heads of the relevant department of her company informing them about her grievances. She has to be very clear about the whole series of incidents that she has undergone. She should not hide anything. She has to make out in that letter,why she thinks that the actions of her boss amount to sexual harassment at workplace as defined by Supreme Court of India. She has to also point out the sorry state of affairs including the absence of any complaint committee in their company for which she is forced to bring this matter to their notice. This would not only point out to the department heads that she's aware of the law but also remind them of the fact that they have committed contempt of court by not setting up any complaint committee. She should send that letter by registered post - acknowledgment due and keep a copy of the letter as well as the postal receipt. If they ignore her attempt, then ask her to write a reminder, this time stating that unless appropriate actions are not taken to redress her grievances then she'll be forced to move the High Court to enforce her fundamental  & constitutional rights (as recognized by the Supreme Court in the Vishakha judgement ) which besides involving penalization of the company will also bring bad publicity for their organization.
Its always advisable to start consulting a lawyer in such matters before taking any step, and if need actually arises to move the Courts, then she may approach a bona fide NGO who'll not only support her financially but also give moral courage, during the legal proceeding.

Ask her to take these steps and let me know if I could be of any other help in this matter.

Avinash: Just curious,...whether a man can be victim of sexual harassment at workplace ?

Me: On a plain reading, I do not find any such indication in the definition given by the Court, which says that only females can be victims of sexual harassment at workplace. Though I'd definitely say that it is primarily for their protection at places of their employment, that these guidelines were drafted. But that does not mean a male victim is remediless. However sometimes the interpretation of a particular law can be tricky. Therefore though this is my personal opinion, the matter may be subject to deeper analysis and interpretation by appropriate authorities. The matter may also considerably change for males, once the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill is enacted into law. For as its name suggests it appears to be focused on women only. Time will tell.

Avinash : Alright. Thank you buddy. I'm off to my friend's house. I'll discuss the strategy with her and her parents.

Me: Good Luck, keep me updated.



  1. Okay...that was a long read, and you've clearly done your research. The tough call comes when there are such slight instances of sexual harrassment, that the victim is pretty much just called an attention seeker in stead of a victim. It could be a small comment about looking good, about dressing sense...anything...but it can make an environment highly uncomfortable. And if you say something, you're an idiot. If you don't, you're suffering.

    I know I can file a complaint against colleagues for sexual jokes, for them telling me I'm looking good or other such things. But will it stop? Will I be discriminated against in the workplace? Where does one draw the line between camaraderie and harassment?!

    1. Dear Shreya,

      I'm glad that you devoted time & patience to read my long post. I couldn't make it shorter as I couldn't afford missing out on significant aspects of the topic.

      I agree that it's a tough call when a lady has to choose whether or not to persecute someone who though indulging in so called "slight" sexual harassment is nevertheless making things uncomfortable for her. I'm also aware of the regrettable phenomenon of targeting someone who is standing up for a genuine cause. But I guess that's how things are.

      No law can decide for the victim whether or not to pursue legal action against some wrong, but then that's how it is for every wrong we know of. Say for instance someone slaps me in front of ten friends. Its always gonna be my call whether I should ignore it as something commonplace or something significantly humiliating so as to file a complaint against the man who slapped me.

      I agree that you are likely to draw flak when you stand up for latent indecency, since it is likely that no one other than the victim senses that indecency, but then if its about your dignity and about putting a full stop to the mild harassment before it becomes full time harassment, then in my humble opinion the victim should pursue a complaint. In all probability the harassment will stop. She may end up being targeted in other aspects, but that's a collateral damage the brave and courageous have suffered since time immemorial, for fighting injustice. There are ways of coming around it, which the person concerned has to figure out herself with her intelligence and perseverance.

      Believe me if you are not wrong, eventually you'll be hailed for having taken a step which at the time of taking it seemed like overreacting or even unnecessary.

      To answer your last question, camaraderie stops and harassment begins the moment the person concerned becomes uncomfortable and feels embarrassed or humiliated. There is no fixed rule for that, each instance has its own limiting point. That's how it is such norms are always victim oriented. If the victim says she's discomfited by someone regularly calling her "gorgeous", so it is. But in case she files a complaint, the appropriate forum will, by taking into account the definition of "sexual harassment at workplace" & the facts of the case decide whether it actually amounts to sexual harassment or not.



  2. Long but worth reading! You have really done your homework! I guess women ought to stand up when it comes down to this. Truth is this is an issue that needs to be highlighted more often than not!

    1. Thank You Danny for perusing my post. My only intention is to make my esteemed readers aware of certain socio - legal issues, so that when need be they can take an informed decision. I agree with your views and the fact that this issues needs to be deliberated upon more often.

      Thanks again

  3. ...long but not boring, and definitely worth the time! A burning issue wonderfully tackled. I liked it Anupam, thanks!

    1. Thank you Amit ji for giving your valuable time for reading my post. I couldn't have made it shorter without robbing certain essential aspects of it. Hence the length.

      The encouragement & support of gifted writers like you are the best compensation for my efforts.

      Shukriya !!!

  4. Anupam! Very informative and well-explained post. You have also brought out the fact that well-meaning and well-drafted laws can bring no change to Society unless they are also effectively implemented.

    1. Thank You Suresh ji for reading my post and sharing your valuable opinions regarding the topic.

      I completely agree with you. No law can achieve what it's meant to, unless there is proper implementation of the same.

  5. Hmmm, i dint read the entire post( am sorry)...
    But loved the parts which i read, conversations are wow...
    I must say, we can't eradicate this serpent unless every soul understands and realize.
    Good work.
    By writing this size, i can understand your effort to bring it down,
    KUDOS to Anupam Patra !

    1. Thanks DeepaK,

      Its Ok if u didn't read the whole post, if you have read all that matters to know about the vital aspects of the issue. Thanks for your encouragement. I agree that tackling every problem ultimately comes down to individual choices and actions.

      Because I was dealing with the legal aspects of the issue, I could not trim the post without sacrificing essential portions of it. Hence the size of the post.

      Thanx again

  6. Very informative and it's a pity such cases goes not reported most times :(

  7. Good post. Such cases need to be reported, but the victim is usually too scared to do it out of fear. There should be explicit guidelines in each organization on this issue, which are followed stringently.

    1. Thanks Ash for reading my post. Yeah, that's part of the reason why most cases go unreported.

  8. This was very informative, summing it up with a conversation made it much easier and interesting read.Though laws on this issue aint discussed much and less known to masses. And ultimately many end up being quite thus allowing such people continue their harassment. All that women do is either quit such a job and discuss less about it too society
    good work Anupam :)

    1. Thanx for going through this post. My intention is to increase awareness among the masses regarding such vital socio legal aspects of our lives. So that when time comes we can take a proper decision and make the right choices.

      Thanks again Revathi

  9. gr8 post..and very informative..keep up the good work anupam!!!

    1. Thanks Nupur for going through the post. I know its long but, it was important for me not to miss out any detail. We are talking law after all.

      Thanks again

  10. Perhaps with such a lengthy post, you can write a hub and link it to your blog..just a suggestion..

  11. Anupam,

    let me say this is a very valuable information. Now the point is that in other countries, governments and other interested parties have done a lot of work to educate the people on this. Even education in the classrooms deal with this issue. So even the small children are getting enough opportunity to know what is ok and not ok when they socialise with the opposite sex. (It does not mean that they do not violate it. But violating the law or norms knowing the consequences is different)

    Unfortunately, in my understanding, this is not happening in India. So it becomes the responsibility of the victim on top of going through a whole lot of victimization to start a process of legal recourse. Then there is the interpretation of the legal people.

    But somewhere it should start, ur post in that regard is a big step. It can help a lot who are trapped in such predicament.

    great man

    1. Thanks MKeralam,

      I'm glad that u went through my post and liked it. I agree with your views that there should be more & more efforts towards increasing awareness in this regard.

      I'm very thankful to you that you recognized the intent behind my post.



  12. very informative post, take a lot of trouble over your posts.I suppose here also one needs to have proof to substantiate a charge,will anyone do it in front of witnesses?

    1. Thank You Indu for your continued support and encouragement. Yes, I do take a lot of time before putting up anything for my learned readers. That's the way I write. I'll not write anything until I'm sure that its worth some value (be it in a real life situation or something poking one's imagination) for my dear readers. So when I write informative posts, obviously I've to ensure that my readers take alongwith 'em as much as they could after reading my posts. Research and analysis are indispensable ingredients for achieving that.

      Of course proof is required to substantiate any charge, else anybody can charge anyone with anything and have him suffer, even though the accused is innocent. As far as witnesses are concerned, I agree that having witness at your side makes your case strong, but its absence does not necessarily make your case weak. In law there's something called "circumstantial evidence" or a "circumstantial case", where the inquiring authority will, in the absence of eye witnesses, take into account the testimony of the victim & the accused and consider them in the light of various circumstances wherein the incident is alleged to have taken place, and then pass his verdict. If the circumstances are such which strongly hint at the guilt of the accused then even in the absence of witnesses he can be declared guilty.

  13. well knitted n informative post. seems u hv done research on it...
    do u realy think those laws are helping women until the person who humiliates co-female employee would change his own perspective of living...the story will go on n sm other like him will take his place. The first thing needs to change is the mindset of such corrupted people who are deadly indulged in harassment.....

    1. Thanks Jasmeet for your encouragement. yeah I' had to brush up details from my law school years. While I agree that law alone can't help transform the society unless individuals transform towards better, I have to respectfully disagree with the view that law is of no help at all to harassed women. It helps the women when it punishes the guilty and thereby uplifts the harassed woman's low esteem and heals her wounded dignity and besides that it prevents anarchy and chaos since in its absence every victim would take personal responsibility to punish the person who wronged her. Its a different matter that due to deeper reasons the perceived guilty may not always end up being punished, but then that's not what law aims to achieve, it happens due to social aberrations. For a detailed read on that issue read my post "The Conversation - IV [On delays in justice, revelations about judicial process & more on free speech, role of media & prejudice...]" @

  14. Long but worth reading. Clearly you have spent a lot of time doing the wonderful research. But sometimes the references are not so loud you know... They can be very subtle....So much so that you would just keep thinking "Was he just trying to be friendly and sociable?" You wont know how you should react, whether you should express your discomfort or whether you should just laugh it away.... That's where it gets draw the line... Apart from these subtle commenters there are few MCPs who still think that women are not as capable as they are and they suit better as home makers and they dont bother telling that on your face. So if not sexual, this is also one type of harassment women have to face in their workplaces.

    1. Thanks Rajrupa for your support.

      I agree that harassment has many forms, some even subtler than anyone's imagination. Doesn't matter. The moment the lady feels uncomfortable, its incumbent upon the other person to stop, whatever he is indulging in. That's where the line is automatically drawn. Yes, chauvinism is also a traditional mode of harassment and its despicable.

  15. Brilliant, great work Anupam...!

    Thank you for taking the trouble to put this together. I have taken a printout of this whole note and will be distributing it to all my co-workers.

    Sexual Harassment is one problem that can be tackled only if more people are better informed. Just so that our readers know, it's not limited to just females. Male workforce is subjected to an equal amount of gender bias and sexual harassment which goes unreported simply because, well who could harass a full grown Man. In case of women, well, many choose not to report because they don't want to the story at the workplace.

    Co-worker's Apathy is one of the major obstacles in place. Proper training, sessions, seminars are a good way to get things moving in a positive direction. Also we all should be more sensitive towards the subtle aspect of human nature. What is good for you may or may not be good for someone else.


    1. Thanks Brother for your encouragement. Awareness is exactly my intention and you seem to be taking the next logical step forward. Thanks for your efforts.

      I'm so glad that you are making such planned efforts towards creating sensitization and awareness regarding this issue in your organization.



  16. Interesting and well written. I am giving below a link to a post that I had written along similar lines about a personal experience in this regard. You might like to read it

    1. Thank You Meera.

      I'll definitely go through your post.

  17. A very good post.. women have to deal with such situations daily but there is no one to support their complaints.. very informative and worth reading..

    1. Thank You Sayoni for going through my post. When readers like you provide such encouragement, it keeps me inspired to write more & more on relevant issues.

      I'm aware of the predicaments of working women, which is why I wrote this detailed post to make them aware about the law on this point. At most times, awareness is half the battle won.

      Thanks again.

  18. Indeed awareness is half the battle won. Most of the times, the victim ends up changing her department or even quitting her job. So if she knows that she has the backing of law and that the battle is nt as uphill as she thinks it to be, she can come forward and file a complaint.

    But I also agree with what Rajrupa said. Law in India is nt as effective in eradicating such commonplace evils as it could be due to the male chauvinism that is still pretty pervasive all around. Women r still commodified n thought of as mere sex objects by even urban, educated(read literate) males. If women dress up well, they r thought of as inviting 'that' sort of attention or as 'just-a-pretty-face-who-is-where-she-is-due-to-her-looks which makes them kind of justify to themselves their indecent behaviour. I think each and every issue having to do with women has to have this bottomline: wipe out male chauvinism first.
    It is nt as easy as it sounds but then we don't talk so much about male chauvinism these days than we do about its offshoots like female foeticide, domestic violence, marital cruelty etc.

    Anyways, very informative post it ws. I totally believe that we all can have some kind of a contribution to make, howsoever big or complicated might be the issue. Spreading awareness is a gr8 way to do one's bit and so this series of conversations is a nice initiative on your part. Keep up the good work :)

    1. Thanks Sudha. My heartfelt gratitude to you for going through the lengthy post and sharing your valuable opinions. I totally agree with you that male chauvinism is the fodder for all wrong against women. Well put perspective.


  19. very factual post these things still happen at work places .....n some ppl fight and some leave and move ahead ...thus the power of those highly educated mischief makers gain more power.