Now Women In Private Sector Can Report Sexual Harassment Via SHe-Box Portal
SHe-Box portal was initially launched for Govt. women employees to report incidences of sexual harassment
Since last few weeks, #metoo hashtag has been extensively used on the social media to highlight issues of sexual harassment by women.
Now, Govt. of India has taken an initiative, with their own #metoo type initiative, aimed at safeguarding women employees.
SH-e-Box portal, which was initially launched for Govt. women employees to report any incidences of sexual harassment, has now been opened for women employees in private sector as well.
This way, SHe-Box has become the first such common portal, wherein women employees from both Govt. and private domains can lodge sexual harassment complaints.
SHe-Box Portal For Private Employees
In July this year, SHe-Box or (Sexual Harassment e-box) was launched by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. At that time, it was meant primarily for women employees working in Govt. sector, who face sexual harassment cases.
Now, Minister Maneka Gandhi has announced extension of this portal for women working in private sector as well.
The Minister said,
“There has been an international campaign in which women have complained about harassment in their workplace. In the last one month, this has picked up steam basically because of allegations that stem from women from Hollywood. It has opened up a Pandora’s Box where lots of women have come forward and narrated their own experiences. This is the first country in perhaps the world that is responding as a government,”
Since its launch in July this year, the portal has received around 346 complaints from women Govt. employees against sexual harassment, and this means that the concept is working.
What Type Of Complaints Can Be Lodged?
As per the Minister, any sort of of harassment, with or without sexual nature can be lodged in the portal. Giving an example of a complaint, she said that a woman complained of a punishment as a posting to a far-off location, as she refused sexual favours sought by the manager. Any inappropriate behaviour, intimidation or lewd jokes made to undermine the dignity of women can be posted in the portal.
Having said that, the Minister also warned about any frivolous complaint, as it can undermine the objectivity of the whole exercise.
“Women have to be very careful about what they think constitutes harassment. If ten frivolous complaints come, we will weaken. Complain only when you think you have been wronged badly and we can help you.”
As of now, this portal is meant for all women employees in the organized sector, all over the country.
Interestingly, private sector has failed to provide any compliance report under Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, citing ‘’enhanced disclosures under the Companies Act, 2013 and adding further to these may not be desirable.”
As per the Minister, she will communicate with Finance Ministry and make it happen very soon.
Do you think creation of such portals will stop sexual harassment at workplace? Do let us know by commenting right here.