Against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has linked SHe-Box, an online portal to report complaints of sexual harassment at workplaces, to all Central and State Departments in 653 districts across the country.
For prompt disposal of complaints on SHe-Box, each case goes directly to the Central or State authority concerned having powers to take action in the matter. SHe-Box cases can be monitored by the complainants and the WCD Ministry, thereby reducing the time taken for their disposal, according to a press release. As many as 321 complaints were registered with SHe-Box, out of which 120 are related to Union Ministries/ departments, 58 from State governments, and 143 from private companies till November 20, the pressnote added.
Those who have already filed written complaints with the Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) or Local Complaint Committee (LCC) constituted under the Sexual Harassment Act are also eligible to file complaints through the SHe-Box portal.
To ensure security of women at workplaces, the WCD Ministry has empanelled institutions/ organisations to organise awareness sessions on the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
As many as 223 organisations have been empanelled from across the country to impart training in local languages.
Those chosen from the State are Streechetana, Kozhikode, and Centre for Management Development, Thiruvananthapuram, the pressnote said.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 mandates all workplaces, including any department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit which is established, owned, controlled, or wholly or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the appropriate government, local authority, corporation or cooperative society, with more than 10 workers to constitute the ICC to receive complaints of sexual harassment.
Incidentally, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is the only political party that has constituted an ICC to look into complaints of sexual harassment after the Ministry urged all recognised political parties to form internal committees immediately to look into complaints of sexual harassment in October.