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Sexual harassment at workplace: NCW data shows upward trend

In January 2019, NCW has registered 29 cases under the specific category of complaints of ‘Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace’

SNS | New Delhi |

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has started collecting data regarding sexual harassment at workplace under Section 509 of IPC — the category of ‘insult to the modesty of women at office premises’ — since 2014. The total number of cases registered under this category during 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 57, 119 and 142, respectively, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Virendra Kumar said this in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

As far as complaints registered with the National Commission for Women (NCW) are concerned, there is an increase in cases registered under the category of ‘Sexual Harassment includes Sexual harassment at Workplace’. The number of such complaints registered during the last three years is 539 (2016), 570 (2017) and 965 (2018), according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

The NCW has from 2019 started maintaining data under the specific category of complaints of ‘Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace’. January saw registration of a total 29 cases.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has developed an online complaint management system, called Sexual Harassment electronic–Box (SHe-Box). Complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace by women, including government and private employees, can be registered on the portal. A total of 423 complaints had been registered on She-Box till now and 114 of them have been disposed of, according to the ministry.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 mandates setting up of an internal committee in each and every government department/institution/autonomous body.