What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment has been identified as a term which is difficult to define as it involves a range of behaviors. Efforts have been made at both national and international levels to define this term effectively. Often, the term is subjected to different interpretations. Some believe that it is better not to mingle with female colleagues so that one does not get embroiled in a sexual harassment complaint. The reality of sexual harassment incidents at the workplace is that there is more to worry about under-reporting, than people misusing the law.
Sexual Harassment includes many things:
1. Actual or attempted rape or sexual assault.
2. Unwanted deliberate touching, leaning over, cornering or pinching.
3. Unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks or questions.
4. Whistling at someone.
5. Kissing sounds, howling and smacking lips.
6. Touching an employee’s clothing, hair or body.
7. Touching or rubbing oneself sexually around another person.
Indian Constitution On Sexual Harassment:
Sexual harassment clearly violates the fundamental rights of a women to Equality under Article 14 which is Equality before law and Article 15 which is Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, her right to life and right to practice any profession and carry on any occupation, trade or business which is under Article 21 and her Right to safe environment free from sexual harassment under Article 19(1)(g)
IPC on Sexual Harassment:
In 2013, substantial changes were made in the way sexual harassment was viewed within the criminal justice system in India. The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2013, which commenced on April 3, 2013, included Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 that defined sexual harassment. The India Penal Code, 1860 has also defined the term sexual harassment and related offences and put forth punishments for the same.