MIFFED AT delay in setting up complaints committees in workplaces to check harassment of women, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Girija Vyas on Saturday warned state governments to file reports within a week or else the NCW would take the issue to the Supreme Court for violation of its guidelines.
Besides states, the NCW has sought reports from PSUs, banks and other organisations on complaints committees. The NCW has written to all chief ministers to direct all departments to reply within
the time-frame to the national or state commissions’ notices for early disposal of cases on harassment, Vyas told newspersons.
Non-compliance by departments to notices often delays justice to the complainant, she added. During her meeting with the Chief Minister, Vyas urged him to act on the Commission’s recommendations for setting up a special desk for women at police stations and ensuring women’s participation in development.
Vyas said she had pointed out to Shivraj Singh Chouhan lack of administrative sensitivity in handling women-related issues. Chouhan assured that his government would amend the women’s policy to address more effectively issues like female foeticide and rapes. Appreciating the ground-level network of the MPSWC, Vyas expressed the hope that other states would follow suit.
Regarding negative portrayal of women in media and cinema, Vyas said the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, NCW and Censor Board would jointly deal with the issue. Regretting the Rakhi Sawant incident, she said that it amounted to sexual assault. She expressed happiness that 19 recommendations and bills presented by the NCW have been approved by government and two bills —on inherent property right and domestic violence — have become acts.
She expressed the hope that the bill on sexual assault, amending relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code to change the definition of rape and consider eveteasing as sexual assault, would be passed by Parliament this session.
Vyas congratulated the Chief Minister on organising mahila panchayats. The CM presented a book on Simhastha to Vyas.