Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Govt issues third memo in less than 3 months on sexual harassment of working women

THE government seems to be serious in establishing a fool-proof system of making government offices free from sexual harassment against working women. In less than three months, the department of personnel and training (DoPT) has issued the third office memorandum on the subject, the latest being the result of insistence of chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee of the DoPT to know the implementation of its earlier instructions on the subject. The latest memo, dated October 8, 2009, directed all Central government departments and ministries to furnish details of actions that they have taken to ensure Complaints Committee mechanism relating to sexual harassment of working women effective and functional. The ministries and departments are requested to give the details by fax on or before October 15 so that the department can present it before the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the DoPT. The earlier two office memoranda related to the subject of sexual harassment were issued on July 21, 2009 and August 3, 2009. In the memo issued recently has asked all departments and ministries to furnish details of the steps “even if no live cases are available to review the preparedness and fulfill the requirements of the Apex Court judgement in ‘Vishakha’ case.” “It was also to be ensured that changes in the composition of the committee should be made promptly and adequately publicized including posting on the website of the concerned ministry or department,” the memo further said. Read: OFFICE MEMO dated October 8, 2009 Straight From Files What sexual harassment includes (July 25, 2009) Sexual harassment cases of women officers in armed forces (July 23, 2009)

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