Aligarh: To mark the inception of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal Act, 2013), an awareness program was held on Thursday, by the Internal Complaints Committee, Aligarh Muslim University.
Addressing the program, Prof Seema Hakim, Presiding Officer ICC, highlighted the conception of the Act following the landmark decision in the case Vishakha and Others Vs State of Rajasthan which eventually resulted in framing guidelines given in the Vishakha case to redress grievances pertaining to workplace sexual harassment and to provide a safe a secure environment to women.
Special guest on the occasion Prof Zaki Anwar Siddiqui, Member In-Charge, Land and Garden, praised the working of ICC and said that it is a pillar of strength to the working women in AMU.
The program was also addressed by ICC members. Prof Sangeeta Singhal, Dept Physiology, JNMC, and Member ICC, educated the audience on “What is sexual harassment” and “How we can define workplace”. She said, “sexual harassment” includes the unwelcome act or behavior whether directly or by implication like the physical contact or advances, a demand or request for sexual favor making sexually colored remarks and showing indecent photos, and any other unwelcome physical, verbal, non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
Javed Saeed, Secretary Saifi Education Trust, and Member ICC, defined “what is a complaint and what are the complaints that can be entertained in the Internal Complaints Committee”. He discussed what should be the content of the complaint. The complaint which is fake and fraudulent in nature is not entertained in the ICC, he stressed.
Dr. Subuhi Afzal, Medical Officer and Member of ICC, deliberated upon “who is the aggrieved women” to more clarify the point she said the Act recognizes the right of every woman to a safe and secure workplace irrespective of her age of employment/ work status.
Adila Sultana, Section Officer JNMCH and Member ICC, emphasized the legal perspective of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace. She said that the members of ICC are the members of the Enquiry Committee and the whole process of inquiry is to be completed within the stipulated time of 90 days.
When a complaint is received it is mandatory to take action within seven days of receipt of the complaint and the ICC makes sure to dispose of the case in a time-bound manner, she added.
Adiba Naseem, Student of MBBS, JNMC, and Member ICC, discussed the “Sexual Harassment of women at workplace- the student perspective”. We have to make our society more conscious about the safety of the girls.