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Posted at: Jul 25, 2017, 1:44 AM; last updated: Jul 25, 2017, 1:44 AM (IST)

‘SHe-box’ portal for molestation complaints

Central Govt women staff can sign up to raise sexual harassment issues; pvt sector to be included soon

Workplaces with over 10 employees covered

  • ‘SHe-box’ (sexual harassment electronic box) is hosted onwebsite of the Women and Child Development Ministry
  • Once submitted, complaint will be directly sent to internal complaints committee (ICC) of the ministry or department concerned
  • Having jurisdiction to inquire into the matter, ICC will take action as per the Act and update the status of the complaint
  • Sexual harassment Act mandates all workplaces with over 10 workers have to constitute an internal complaints committee
  • 30.86 lakhthe total strength of the Union Government staff
  • 10.93 per centof the work force comprise women (2011 Census)
‘SHe-box’ portal for molestation complaints
Union Minister Maneka Gandhi launches complaint system SHe-box in New Delhi. Manas Ranjan Bhui

New Delhi, July 24

The Women and Child Development Ministry today launched an online platform to enable women employees of the central government to file complaints related to sexual harassment at the workplace.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said the platform will cater to Union Government employees in the beginning and thereafter, its ambit will be widened to include the private sector as well.

“We are also going to soon conduct a national survey to assess the nature and magnitude of sexual harassment at the workplace,” the Minister for Woman and Child Development said after launching the portal at her office here.

The online complaint management system—’SHe-box’ (sexual harassment electronic box)—hosted on the website of the Women and Child Development Ministry, also seeks to ensure “effective implementation” of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. The portal is also an effort to provide “speedier remedy” to women facing sexual harassment at the workplace, as envisaged under the sexual harassment Act, a senior official of the ministry said.

The Minister also instructed officials to make the portal as “interactive” as possible. The portal should offer a list of follow-up details so that the employee gets to know the exact status of the complaint, she told officials.

“To begin with, Union Government women employees can file complaints, but we are going to widen the ambit to include the private sector as well... We just need to make a few changes in our online interface. Once it is done, employees from private companies would also be able to lodge complaints,” Maneka said.

The decision to host an online platform for sexual harassment cases was taken by the WCD Ministry in October last year after the minister received complaints from women employees in various ministries.

“If the internal complaints committees (on sexual harassment) is working, then we are out of the picture totally... But people, who will come to us, are those women employees who work where there are no committees or there’s one for the sake of it or composed of people who are outrightly negative,” she said.

Maneka also asked officials to include a section in the portal where complainants can “vent” their grievances.

On the proposed pan-India survey, she said the idea was initiated after an NGO came up with a small-scale study on women-related matters. “We will put up the survey on out portal as well as our Facebook page and Twitter handle to reach out to as many people as possible,” she said.

The Minister also said the definition of what constitutes a case of sexual harassment must be made available on the portal. “Some people say installation of CCTV cameras is harassment. So, we need to define it so that there are no frivolous cases,” she added. — PTI

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