Delhi : This press release is by a coalition of NGOs under the umbrella of the Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF). All NGOs are non-funded , non-profit NGOs fighting for , Gender Equality, Judicial accountability and balanced laws by creating awareness towards the creation of balanced gender neutral laws so that they are both constitutional and provide justice to all individuals irrespective of gender and sexual orientation. This press release has been sent to highlight the undemocratic law making process of India and expose the fascist nature of the same. Workplace Harassment at Workplace Bill is in its current form is unacceptable for a sane and just society because
1. Women and Child Ministry(WCD) is desperately trying to sneak in an highly anti male bill by hook or crook. The fact that in India the definition of Sexual assault incorporates males but the definition of sexual harassment refuses to consider men as victims is lunacy compounded with ministerial arrogance at best. When challenged with facts WCD minister states that they will conduct a survey of men later which they did not conduct for the past 15 years, but would pass another draconian anti-male biased bill anyways now? Is this behavior lunacy and fascism?
2. Women and Child Development ministry’s internal committee which is expected to conduct the survey is nothing more than a kangaroo court when to come to men’s issues will conduct a survey if men are being harassed at the workplace. Why is the WCD not using the Economic times and Synovate Survey on sexual harassment. Is it because when the data does not back their preconceived agenda then the Kangaroo courts at WCD prefer doing their own surveys. Economic times is India’s premier business paper and Synovate is one of the worlds most credible research organization. Below is the link to the news item and survey findings.
As part of this very credible and extensive research 527 people queried in the survey across seven cities in the country -Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Below are excerpts from the report to expose how often Males are sexually harassed.
a) Bangalore: – Half of who agreed that they have been sexually harassed at their workplace said they have been harassed by their female colleagues. Only 32% said that they were harassed by Male colleagues.
b) Hyderabad: – 29% of said they have been sexually harassed by their female bosses while 48% accused their male bosses.
c) Delhi: – Numbers are even, with 43% pointing a finger at their female colleagues and an equal number accusing their male colleagues of sexual harassment.
d) 38% of the respondents agreed that in today’s workplaces, even men are as vulnerable to sexual harassment as women. In Hyderabad and Mumbai, 55% of the respondents agreed to this point.
e) Many of the corporate and PSUs, ET spoke to, agree to this new trend and point out that many male employees do not come out in the open and file complaints because they feel they will not be believed, considering India’s social beliefs. They usually seek a transfer to get out of the situation or find a new job.
From the above facts of the report it can be concluded that Sexual Harassment of Males at Workplace in India is more than that of women since in most cases males do not even file complaints for the fear of Social ridicule.
3. Indian industry, media and people alike have overwhelmingly demanded a gender neutral workplace harassment bill and country’s gender laws cannot be determined by a few radical feminist organizations in collusion with the WCD.
4. The bill was gender neutral to begin with till the intervention of the WCD and militant womens NGO’s after which the name of the bill was changed to The Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010.
5. WCD Ministry which stated in 2010 that “Protection of men is also not the mandate of Ministry of WCD” as the justification for not to include men under the ambit of the Sexual harassment bill now states that it will conduct a study on men’s sexual harassment. This clearly points to the severe desperation and the dubious nature of gender lawmaking in India. Removal of WCD of law making is now extremely urgent given the extremely poor credibility of this organization as a gender law making body.
6. Over 35 countries in the world have gender neutral sexual harassment policies, a fact that was presented many times to the WCD only to be dubiously ignored each time.
7. It out-rightly violates the essence of article 15 of Indian constitution which prohibits discrimination against any citizen on the grounds of religion and sex. Positive discrimination of women does not men absolving them for punishment for committing offences because of their gender. It has been acknowledged the world over that workplace harassment is gender neutral crime and women have equal or more propensity of committing it. Vishaka judgment nowhere mentioned that women must be absolved of the offence of sexual harassment because they are women.
8. The Drafting committee arrogantly ignored overwhelming public opinions asking for the bill to made gender neutral and thereby exposed the fascist law making attitude with which gender laws are drafted in India.
The coalition of multinational NGOs supporting this press conference strongly opposes the Bill in the present form and demands that the current draft prepared by the WCD be discarded and a fresh draft be created taking into consideration the following points.
a) The Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill must be reviewed and amended immediately to make it Gender Neutral. The word Men/women to be replaced by person or employee.
b) No direct money should be given to the person who complaint, all fine should be go to an employee welfare fund. This will reduce the instances of misuse and extortion.
c) If the case is found the false/fabricated or filed with an intention derive personal benefit, the person should be fined or sacked summarily without any discretion.
d) No outsiders must e allowed into the committees . No women’s rights NGO;s or NGO working for the cause of women must be allowed to earn revenue from sitting in these committees and converting normal cases into cases sexual harassment.
e) The offence to be categorized into to 5 levels and the fine or disciplinary action should be as per level of then offence found in enquiry.
f) If any person is not satisfied with the committee’s findings and conclusions they will have the right approach the court, but no way the employer or enquiry committee member should be involved in that case to defend the accuser.
Save Indian Family Foundation Bangalore, Men Seek Justice USA, Save Family Foundation Delhi, All India Men’s Welfare Association, Indian Affiliate Chapter of Association for International Men’s Rights Activism and Welfare
Contact: 9890974788 RAJESH NAGPUR,9823788013 ATIT RAJPARA PUNE 9818789236(Swarup DELHI ), 9008302822(Virag BANGLORE ) , 9818509406(WasifDELHI ), 9910074914(RitwikBANGLORE ) 7738379177 AMIT DESPANDE MUMBAI