The women employees of Central government will soon be able to file sexual harassment complaints online. The decision was taken at a meeting called by Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi today after she received complaints from aggrieved women employees from various ministries. Officials from Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Railway Ministry, Sports Ministry and Department of Financial Services were present at the meeting.
The e-platform for posting complaints will be hosted on the Women and Child Development ministry's website, a senior official said, adding the complaints will then be taken up with the respective ministries/departments.
An inter-ministerial committee headed by a senior WCD official will be constituted to review the status of the complaints. The forum will also ensure that all Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) heads are imparted training on how to resolve such complaints, he said.
It has also been decided that the DoPT will issue instructions to ensure that training programmes for all services include a module on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 to sensitise the government staff.
Additionally, the WCD ministry will issue guidelines for dealing with sexual harassment complaints. These will include a monthly as well as an annual report, to be prepared by the Internal Complaints Committee of each ministry, on the status of complaints received. The cadre controlling authority of a victim will be required to monitor her progress for five years, in order to ensure that she is not further tormented for complaining against a colleague, the official said.
A similar exercise for the private sector is also on the anvil, he added.
The move comes after several women employees wrote to the WCD ministry about delay in getting their complaints about sexual harassment resolved.