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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

New book helps build a bulwark against sexual harassment at workplace

  Updated: Oct 11, 2019 17:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

LUCKNOW: The global #MeToo campaign has raised the bar on conversation around sexual harassment at workplace, says a 2019 study published in Harvard Business Review.

Findings of the latest study state that 74 per cent women believed women would report or speak up against sexual harassment without hesitation, while 77 per cent men hoped it would make men more wary of inappropriate behavior on their part.

Martha Farrell Foundation’s book, “Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace,” provides a step-by-step guide to understanding the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

The book was launched at the 7th Indian Social Work Congress at Lucknow University by vice chancellor prof SP Singh and others on Friday.

“Martha Farrell Foundation authored this book and it was published by Hachette India,” said Nandita Pradhan Bhatt, director of the foundation.

“The Foundation is committed to making workplaces safe, and this book describes our experiences in training over 50 organizations, and sensitizing nearly 30,000 men and women employees over the past three years,” said Bhatt.

“Importantly, the book goes beyond the law, providing examples and case studies for unbiased redressal of sexual harassment complaints, and actions we can take to create a workplace culture that is gender-sensitive, equal and safe for every employee,” she said.

Making workplaces safe for women needs effective implementation and understanding of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, she added.

At the Lucknow University launch function many speakers said this was the primary legal mechanism to ensure that women are protected against sexual harassment at workplace.

But many had a question: How many of us – women, men, employers and employees – are aware of the rights and obligations under this Act?

The study concluded that at least organizational-level training of employees should be ensured not only on what constitutes sexual harassment but also on character building and gender equality.

The book has exhaustive details on organizational responsibilities to prevent, prohibit and redress sexual harassment cases at workplace, internal and local committee mandates and functioning, and an illustrated A-Z section on different behaviours and impact of sexual harassment. Illustrative legal precedents, both national and international, provide a glimpse into the meanings of terminology in the Act.

Detailed key processes, from creating organizational policies to constituting effective anti-sexual harassment committees, are explained in the book. By demystifying the legal jargon, the book helps increase understanding of the rights of women under the Act.

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 17:46 IST

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