Practise

A seminar that seeks a change in mindset

Posted by July 13, 2016

With International Women's Day, this year, promises to be different! A media seminar titled, Women's Safety and the Law, held as a precursor to the big day, highlighted crucial issues concerning Women's Security and the Law!

Organised by firm believers in women's safety ‚€" a team of people called Complykaro, led by founder Mr. Vishal Kedia, at the Press Club, it threw open to the members of the fourth estate a minefield of shocking statistics concerning the apathy of organisations towards what constitutes half, if not more of an average workforce. The talk followed by a question answer session uncapped a virtual Pandora's box with regard to The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace(Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, even highlighting its limitations.

3Sharing the dais with Mr Kedia, was Ms Sangeeta Lakhi, legal expert, Rajani Associates, who stressed how perception and intent were keywords which defined what constitutes sexual harassment. "Law can get gender neutral down the line," she quoted. She also mentioned that, "‚€¶as women, we should use the law, to safeguard our interest, to protect ourselves."

The reporters had a volley of questions regarding the efficacy of the law and the role organisations play to ensure a safe work environment devoid of sexual harassment.

The Government mandate was discussed in detail, while the newspersons cited various cases as evidence that it was a much-needed law and implementing it would deter offenders.

Did this law have teeth or will it be like old wine in a new bottle? Would it be misused? Social norms, burden of proof, myths and various aspects about this law were analysed, chiefly ‚€" when is an organisation's management liable, that there would be no penalty if the complaint cannot be proved and that the complaint had to be made within 3 months.

6The highly interactive session in the Knowledge Series concluded on a positive note with writers having their doubts cleared and making certain that awareness is created to benefit the large number of women, who brave all odds to carve their niche and continue to stride ahead in their careers.

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