New Delhi: The government has set up a ministerial panel, chaired by the Union home minister, Rajnath Singh, to examine and strengthen the existing legal and institutional frameworks that deal with cases of sexual harassment at workplaces. The group of ministers (GoM) will also recommend measures to prevent the harassment of women employees and the effective implementation of existing provisions to deal with sexual harassment at workplaces.
The GoM comprises Nirmala Sitaraman, defence minister; Nitin Gadkari, road transport minister; and Maneka Gandhi, women and child development minister.
Maneka Gandhi had earlier promised that her ministry will set up a committee of legal and judicial figures to examine the matters of sexual harassment at the workplaces.
Earlier, MJ Akbar was forced to resign from the post of minister of state for external affairs over allegations by several women of sexual harassment by him when he was a journalist. Considering the scale of #MeToo movement where women from different fields have opened up about sexual harassment at their workplaces, the government has taken a step to constitute the GoM.
According to the Section 4 of the Sexual Harassment at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, it is mandatory for every organization to constitute a committee, chaired by senior woman employee, to handle sexual harassment cases.