Topic– mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
2) Metoo movement brings out the issue of sexual harassment, among many others. Analyze the lacunae in India’s sexual harassment laws and what needs to done? (250 words)
Why this question
Metoo movement has showed us once again, what we already know – that sexual harassment in India is commonplace. Since metoo movement and issues arising out of the movement, are important for mains, analyzing the lacunae in India’s sexual harassment laws is important.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to discuss in detail the gaps in India’s sexual harassment laws, observations of committees formed for the purpose and the ways in which the law can be strengthened to ensure such incidents find no place in our society.
Analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain the metoo movement and the allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct which is coming to light.
- Highlight the law dealing with such cases – enactment of Sexual Harassment (Prohibition, Prevention and Redressal Act) 2013 has been a bit of relief for women professionals and workers across India. Companies have shifted from turning a blind eye towards such issues to addressing them, and taking appropriate steps before things escalate.
- Discuss how in bringing in this legislation, government referred to the vishakha guidelines. Discuss the provisions of the Act in brief – This Act contains almost all of the directives given by the SC in Vishakha case and it also consists of several other provisions such as: the Complaint Committees have been granted the powers of Civil Courts in garnering evidences; if the employers fail to comply with the provisions of the Act they will be liable for penalties up to Rs. 50,000; also, the Act includes in its purview workers of un-organized sectors such as daily wage laborers working in construction business or maids working in homes etc.
- Highlight the issues in the legislation – mostly companies are not supportive of ICC and this is not the failure of the act. It is primarily because the companies only take sexual harassment prevention as a compliance and not something which is vital for women at their workplace; it has not specifically made conduct of sexual harassment as crime but only a civil wrong which is a major flaw; when the victim is willing to initiate criminal proceeding only then a criminal complaint would be filed; also there is a possibility of senior male employee or boss of the victim might force her to withdraw her complaint.
- Discuss the view of Verma committee on sexual harassment laws
Conclusion – Give your view as to whether there is a need to bring changes in law and discuss way forward.