In several countries around the world there is law meant for prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at work places. In India it is called “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibiton and Redressal) Law which was recently passed by Apex Law making body India. When it was introduced in the Indian Parliament, quite a good majority of Peoples’Representatives never bothered to look into the implications involved in this law. It was so skillfully passed in the Lower House the Law making body, by the ruling government amid the rucus of protest on controversial ‘Coalgate’ issue demanding resignation of the Prime Minister of India. So the Bill has gotten skipped luckely the debates and discussions on merits and demerits over it and implications involved in it.
This Law becomes a boon for really suffering women at work places, but a bane for the men who really do not harass the women collegues in their offices. Because like any other women laws in the country this Law too on its face value a pro-women one-sided law ignoring the ground realities prevalent at the work places. So as in the case of other pro-women laws such as Maintenance laws, Domestic Violence Laws and Dowry Harassment Laws, there could be several victims to this law in the days to come, if law is misused by the really not a suffering women at work places.
The core objective of the Laws is to prevent the men at workplaces not to make any unwelcome act or behaviour such as physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favour or making sexually coloured remarks or showing pornography. Such acts or behaviour directly or by implication would also include any other physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature. And non compliance of the law will be punishable with a fine up to Rs.50,000/- or even more. The Parliamentay Standing Committee which examined this Bill said that it was according to the guidelines specified by the Supreme Court of India in Visakha case in 1997. Except in the specific overt acts or behaviour, the meaning of non-verbal acts or behaviour of a male employee can not be defined specifically and vague differs from person to person perception in any situation. But one thing is clear, the sexual acts or behaviour whch are overt they attract punishment. This is all OK and no body is going to protest this law who have intention to protect the women in genuine cases and even if vehement protestests are made by the men organizations with an apprehension of its abuse, the government will not care their demand for its revocation as the legislation was shown to be within the guidelines specified by the Apex Couirt of India. This is also OK. If non-working female employees, late comers to offices, inefficient women, or corrupt women working in the offices or at other work places, take advantage to this law to subdue the male bosses or other male collegues, no body can save the male employees, because as I understood there are no penal provisions for its abusers.
This is also double OK. But if both men and women are equal before the law, and if there is law of equity, and principles of Natural Justice are prevalent as claimed by several Democratic nations implementing RULE OF LAW, do not these laws violate those fundamental principle of equality before Law? OK let us violate these principles also to protect women’s interests alone.
As per the above Law if men make any unwelcome act or behaviour such as physical contact and advances, a demand or request for sexual favour or making sexually coloured remarks or showing pornography. Such acts or behaviour directly or by implication would also include any other physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature they are punishable under this Law. This law is applicable to every man, who does such act and also to those men who do not really resort to such acts, if a simple complaint is given by a female employee with genuine or prejudicial mind or for protecting her selfish interests at work place. Taking some sporadic incidents into consideration occurred in a very big country, such generalized Law is made targetting every man, without pondering the implicatios and complications involved in its execution. Are women really in such innocent and feeble state of affairs in the society and in workplaces to be sexually harassed by the male collegues? Such cases have happened very rarely in a billion and half population in countries like India. If laws are made for few, with generalized execution, then majority will be victimized.
If honestly accepted the ground realities in society are quite different from the overactive laws being introduced by the some law makers with abnormal thinking in their own way. Are not women coming to work places wearing the skirts above the thighs, sleevless jackets, wearing sarees below the abdomen, half-cut blouses with an intention to expose their physique and to disturb the minds of men? Does such way of dressing, behaviour, and gestures not amount to non-verbal misconduct of sexual nature of such women, directly and by implication to entice men in common work place? Is there any law to prevent women from such kind of enticing dressing?
Some women are also doing unwelcome acts, behavior, physical gestures and advances, demands and request for sexual favour making sexually coloured remarks and dancing in semi-nude transparent dresses with sexually provocative demanours overtly and by implication in physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct and manner of sexual nature, in the Movies, advertisements before the society. Every day, every one come across such behaviour of women and we are watching them with our own eyes and they are telecasted through Television net works, shown in movies, magazines, news papers and internet. They are targeting and victimizing men with such gestures, behaviour, manners in verbal, non-verbal, physical and non-physical conduct of sexual nature. Why such behaviour of women is not regarded by the Law for punishment which is akin and attributable to the acts and behaviour mentioned under the law for prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at work places – by enacting one, such as ‘Law for Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Men’ with such behaviour and gestures through public or private communication networks. If such women resorts such behaviour and gestures before the society especially targeting men – does it not amount to mental and Sexual Harassment of Men, especially for the righteous and virtuous men? Virtuous and disciplined men with scrupulous principles are undergoing a lot of mental harassment and disturbance to their minds due to the sexually provocative acts, gestures and behaviour of such women publicly. Which country is ready to introduce this Law that believes and practices, Law of equity, equality before Law and Rule of Law? By dchaitanya