Women sexual harassment bill moved in Rajya Sabha

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 13:20 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath Tuesday moved in the Rajya Sabha a bill to prevent sexual harassment of women at workplace and give safe and enabling environment to working women.

Moving the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012 for consideration and passage in the upper house of parliament, Tirath said the bill covered both organised and unorganised sectors and included domestic workers.

"The aim is that women are able to work freely whether it is workplace in organised or unorganised sector," she said.

The bill would benefit women in both private and public sectors, she said.

She said every employer was required to create atmosphere free from sexual harassment and constitute an internal committee to probe complaints.

Tirath said there was provision of some punishment in case a complaint was made with malicious intent.

Bharatiya Janata Party member Najma Heptullah said there were already 48 laws concerning women and the bill would be another addition unless the government showed the will to implement it.

Referring to the gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012 which sparked public outrage, she said brutal incidents including rape and murder had been taking place despite existence of laws.

"Implementation of law is important," she said.

She said the bill should have been directed at sexual and all other kinds of harassments.

"In case a woman harasses a woman, what law will cover it. How will you implement provisions concerning domestic workers ... What is the mechanism you have to see the law is implemented at the grassroots," Heptullah said.

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