Maneka Gandhi proposes to set up committee to look into #MeToo cases

Illustration Jayachandran  Mint

Illustration Jayachandran Mint

I believe in all of them.

Maneka Gandhi went on to state that she believes in all the survivors who have come out with their accounts and have made complaints of sexual harassment.

Providing details on the proposed committee, Maneka Gandhi, in an interview to Doordarshan News, said that "for many years" there was a burden on women, that even if they were "humiliated" verbally or by touch, "the woman never used to speak up, even if she was 80 years old".

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) on Friday announced that a committee comprising four retired judges will be formed to probe the complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault against many prominent citizens of India. "I urge working women across all sectors to come out fearlessly and report cases of any form of sexual harassment and we shall ensure all possible assistance", Gandhi said.

It's not that the viral social media campaigns against sexual harassment and sexual assault, especially in the workplace, didn't reach the subcontinent. On Monday, journalist Priya Ramani said on Twitter that an article she wrote for Vogue India in October 2017 concerning sexual harassment by an unnamed editor was about Akbar.

As part of the ongoing #MeToo movement, many big names, including Vikas Bahl, Subhash Ghai, Nana Patekar, Alok Nath and Sajid Khan, among others have been accused of harassment.

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In fact, the survivor in Pachauri's case went on to say that sexual harassment at workplaces is still rampant not just because women don't know their rights, but also because the workplace, titled towards toxic masculinity and powerful male bosses, creates a "culture of silence that enables men to continue predatory behaviour with women".

Actress Catherine Deneuve famously denounced #Metoo as puritanism gone too far, and USA first lady Melania Trump this week said she supported women speaking out, but that they need to have hard evidence to back their claims.

After an application moved by the private persons, against whom the woman - a journalist - had pointed allegations of sexual harassment, came the order from the court.

"You can now complain 10-15 years later, doesn't matter how much later". Maliwal also appealed to the Prime Minister to set up "fast track courts in country, increase police resources, fix responsibility of police so that faith of women can be restored in this system".

Perhaps the most startling development has been the string of accusations against Junior External Affairs Minister M.J. Akbar. Of those women, 56 percent said they were harassed by a colleague; 36 percent, a boss; 25 percent, a manager; and 14 percent, a client or vendor. According to Oxfam, 17 percent of women in both formal and informal sectors faced sexual harassment at work in India.

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