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The group has now been given a timeline of three months to address the issue. Photo: iStock
The group has now been given a timeline of three months to address the issue. Photo: iStock

#MeToo: Centre sets up committee to tackle sexual harassment

The committee set up by Centre to tackle sexual harassment at the workplace will be headed by Union home minister Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: A week after former minister of state for external affairs M.J Akbar resigned from his post, in the wake of the MeToo movement in India, the Centre has set the wheels in motion to tackle sexual harassment at the workplace.

On Wednesday, a committee of a group of ministers was set up, headed by Union home minister Rajnath Singh and comprising Road Transport minister Nitin Gadkari, Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Women and Child Development (WCD) minister Maneka Gandhi. The group has now been given a timeline of three months to address the issue.

“The GoM will now be required, within the next three months, to examine various provisions for the safety of women and recommend further measures required to strengthen and make them more effective," a home ministry spokesperson said.

At the same time, the WCD ministry has also launched an electronic complaints box that enables women to bring to light any complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.

“Once a complaint is submitted to the ‘SHe-Box’, it is directly sent to the concerned authority having jurisdiction to take action into the matter. A mechanism will be put in place to regularly monitor the action taken on the complaints," the ministry added.

Earlier this year, in July, minister of state for the Women and Child development ministry Virendra Kumar, informed the Lok Sabha that only 500 complaints of sexual harassment of women at the work place in India were registered every year, over the last few years. Likewise, the largest number of complaints (since 2015) were registered in Uttar Pradesh, with a total of 627 complaints, while Delhi saw the second highest number of complaints being registered, at a total of 314. In total, Kumar informed, only 2164 complaints had been registered all over India since 2015.

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