As many as 1,971 cases of sexual harassment of women at workplace were registered in four years till December 12, 2017, or one case every day, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) on December 15, 2017. Cases reported increased by 45% from 371 in 2014 to 539 in 2017 (till December 12, 2017).
Maneka Gandhi, women and child development minister, recently wrote to leading Bollywood producers, asking them to comply with the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013, The Indian Express reported on December 14, 2017.
Smt. @ManekaGandhiBJP writes to leading film production houses to comply with the #SexualHarassmentAtWorkplace Act to provide a safe, secure & inclusive work environment for women in #Bollywood. pic.twitter.com/mwG7UHIksD
— Ministry of WCD (@MinistryWCD) December 13, 2017
Source: Lok Sabha
Uttar Pradesh (UP)–country’s most populous state–reported the most (141) cases in 2017, up 42% over 2014. UP accounted for 26% of all cases filed, followed by Delhi (13%) and Maharashtra (7%) in 2017.
As many as 70% women said they did not report sexual harassment by superiors because they feared the repercussions, according to a survey conducted by the Indian Bar Association in 2017, IndiaSpend reported on March 4, 2017.
“Low or no reporting speaks volumes about the gender sensitivity of a particular organisation,” Anagha Sarpotdar, a researcher working on sexual harassment at workplace, had told IndiaSpend.
“Women may not know where to go to report harassment or it could be that the cases may not have been dealt with sincerely. Often, women go to committees believing them to be independent, and find that they are actually puppets in the hands of their superiors.”
The government has set-up an online complaint management system–Sexual Harassment electronic–Box (SHe-Box)–under the ministry of women and child development for registering sexual harassment complaints at workplace, Virendra Kumar, minister of state, ministry of women and child development, told the Parliament in his reply on December 15, 2017.
(Mallapur is an analyst with IndiaSpend and FactChecker.)