The first meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to look into laws against sexual harassment at the workplace is scheduled for Dec 10.

Women Child Dev Ministry to push for more power to NCW for sexual harassment cases
news Sexual Harassment Saturday, December 08, 2018 - 11:59

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has decided to pitch for more strength to the National Commission for Women (NCW) in the first meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to look into laws against sexual harassment at the workplace, said an official on Friday.

"We will concentrate on one thing, that is strengthening of NCW. We took it to the Cabinet also but it could not be passed. It has been pending for three years now. So, this time we are going to resurrect it...," said the official.

The first meeting is scheduled to be held on December 10, according to a top government source.

According to the Ministry, the proposed provisions were part of the National Commission for Women bill that was drafted in April 2015 on the basis of suggestions of another GoM, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Following the #MeToo movement, the government in October formed the new GoM, which was headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, along with three other Cabinet Ministers -- Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman and Maneka Gandhi.

The new GoM was formed to examine the existing legal and institutional frameworks for dealing with matters of sexual harassment of women at workplace.

As per the WCD sources, a major problem being faced by the NCW is the investigation process of a sexual harassment cases which often lead to delays in proceeding with the complaints.

"We have therefore decided to voice for same power to NCW as has been given to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes," the official stated.

The NCW has also been assigned to handle the matters coming from "She-Box" -- the single-window access to working women to register complaints related to sexual harassment at workplaces, apart from the #MeToo cases.

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