In today’s world, women are achievers in every field. The constitution of India provides positive discrimination against women by passing several laws and policies to bring change. However, women face sexual harassment at their workplace, while walking on the road, and while traveling on public transportation.
With increasing cases of woman’s sexual harassment in the last decade, one of the most significant cases of a women employee Bhanwari Devi, fighting for rights for women and child marriage, revealed the hazards that working women face daily and highlighted the urgency for safeguards to be implemented for the same. And with the same interest, legislation in the Supreme Court of India under the name Vishaka was filed by women’s right activist and lawyers. Here are some guidelines from the same.
These guidelines are related to women’s safety and protection at the workplace and were introduced by the Supreme Court of India in the year 1997. Guidelines issued by the Hon’ble are as follow:
It is believed that Vishaka guidelines were pioneering steps taken by the government to protect women and their rights. However, the guidelines speak about how employers are responsible to take preventive actions to stop sexual harassment in the workplace and acknowledge the act if found through a complaint.
However, Vishaka guidelines inspired the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (prevention, prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 and paved the way for the development of the act of 2013. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 was passed. This legislative act was passed to protect women from sexual harassment in their workplace. This landmark legislation in India helps women to stand for themselves and assert autonomy in the workplace against sexual harassment.
Let’s read more about POSH Act, 2013.
The Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment Act, 2013, was passed by the Indian government in order to protect women from sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace, offering a safe and secure environment for women. This act also seeks to create awareness about workplace harassment, and can victims can pursue necessary legal remedies.
This act enables organisations to establish an internal complaints Committee (ICC) to address complaints of sexual harassment and create a safe and respectful environment for women employees. This also stands as one of the key provisions of the POSH Act, 2013.
The POSH Act is an important piece of legislation, impacting Indian workforce positively. It protects and safeguards female employees from sexual assault and harassment but also saves them from the mental trauma that tags along. It outlines the procedures and responsibilities of the complainant and the employer.
The POSH Act 2013 was introduced to protect women in the workplace from sexual harassment. Despite its noble aims, there were hindrances in implementing the Act:
To make POSH Act a successful one, employers and managers must take proactive steps to ensure workplaces are POSH-Compliant.
Here are some strategies for employees that can use to enforce the POSH Act of 2013:
I’m Safe App is one such women-empowered app that is designed for women and their safety. Today’s women are strong, powerful, and challenging in nature. Any hurdles or challenges coming their way, stopping them from growing are faced without fear and anger to stop it once and for all.
With I’m Safe app, women of all age groups, races, and cultures can be benefitted from it. This app has a special section for organisations wherein, every female employee can use the app with ease, protect themselves from harassment, manage their mental space, and report with a strong note when required.
Some of the main features of the app include the report feature, wherein, female employees can report abuse or harassment directly to the management, anonymously.
Another interesting feature that the app holds for female employees is, night shift safety. Women don’t take up night shift roles because their main concern is night shift and traveling. This app can save you from the additional trauma that you add to yourself. I’m Safe app helps you in tracking your travel and sending emergency SOS alerts. The app can fake up a call for you, adding up to your safety.
On a final note, POSH Act 2013 is a major step forward in ensuring a safe and harassment-free work environment for female employees in India. It also provides a framework to follow for a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment in the workplace. However, the legal work is done by the government, but we are equally responsible to create a safe and secure working environment and work towards the objectives of the POSH Act 2013.