Sajad Farooq Rather writes about the latest initiative of SHE-BOX taken for checking sexual harassment and how it could help curb the menace in Jammu Kashmir.
The Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi launched an online complaint management system Sexual Harassment Electronic-Box (SHE-BOX) for registering complaints related to sexual harassment at the workplace. Once the complaint is lodged to SHE-BOX, it will be directly sent to the internal complaints committee (ICC) of the ministry, department, PSU or the autonomous body concerned that has the jurisdiction to inquire into the matter.
The complaint management system has been developed to ensure effective implementation of sexual harassment of women at work places. The portal is an initiative to provide a platform to women working or visiting any office of Government of India to file complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace under the Sexual Harassment Act.
India is the world’s most dangerous country for women, according to a survey of 550 experts on women’s issues conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. As per the latest survey of Action Aid, UK nearly four out of the five women in India have experienced some form of harassment or violence in public.
In Jammu Kashmir, though not many cases of sexual harassment have been reported, 1326 rape cases had been registered since 2006. Crime against women and girls has been on the rise with 9634 cases involving molestation, kidnapping, rape, and abduction of females registered since 2010.
J&K state is showing a continuous rise in cases of violence against women. Recently the Government admitted that there has been an increase in cases of violence against women during 2017 and 3,957 persons were arrested in 2017 year upto November. The government has established a grievance cell under the charge of Commissioner and Secretary Social Welfare in the civil secretariat to look into the complaints relating to sexual harassment of the female employees.
The use of SHE-BOX in the State could pave a way for taking action against sexual harassment. Jammu Kashmir could go well to get the SHE-BOX rolling in all the government, semi-government departments, PSUs and autonomous bodies. The SHE-BOX for Jammu Kashmir could be an out-of-box idea and help curb the menace of sexual harassment.
The author is a law student and a freelance writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org