Dr. Jogeshwar mahanta:
Are you saying that no woman in India can be accused of sexual harassment?
Are you saying that no women in India holds/held positions of authority and power, or do you feel that because of the culture, that a woman would not make such overtures? How do you know?
I think the law is clear. The post by swastik73 clearly mentions "employer" and "employee" without reference to gender.
In the above example which one is the male? Which one is the superior, or are they peers?

From United States,
Dear All, The whole objective of this debate is getting lost, if we go in for a man-woman fight. Let us be neutral and give our comments. Regards, SC
From India, Thane
hi all,
it was a very informative read. I am an MBA, HR student and today only we had a class presentation on awareness and training programme for sexual harassment. 1 issue which was raised during the whole discussion which was not solved till the end of discussion was " Somebody telling sexually explicit jokes to a group of men and women in workplace is also a kind of sexual harassment". Here peple had different opinions about this issue. For men and women who have been brought up in an open environment and who have this modern kind of mentality cannot have any poblem with this type of situation but we also need to think about others who are not comfortable with this level of openness. So the question here is would we classify this sharing of seually explicit jokes in workplace as sexual harassment? Kindly give me your views.

From India, Hyderabad
Hi All,

So much water has flown into Ganga and Godavari. Similarly, many Cite HR members have reacted to this subject some wildly and some mildly. Some have come out with bills, policies, procedures and what not.... everything. Everyone is bound to be harassed at one stage or the other in their lives. But when we see India as a whole, women were created as a weaker sex since ages as men used to hunt and bring home the food since the primitive ages. Since those times, women are confined to household chores and she was never allowed to venture outside. That was how women were brought up and even in India nowadays you can see how many rural women are being confined to homes without being aware of the modern advances the society has undergone elsewhere. We are not away from that legacy and many of us must have seen our old women relatives who have lived during those times can give us approprate picture on how women were treated during olden days. We are still carrying that legacy where women are treated as secondary to men. True, the times have changed with Industrial Revolution and then the technological advances, women have been recognized as equal to men all over. But the legacy which was carried from so many ages goes on and it takes time to change the mind sets of all Indians. The political system has to change and the entire systems ala customs like Sati etc which are still rampant in some parts of India and yes the dowry system which is present everywhere have to go if women have to enjoy equal respect along with men. As long as these evil practices continue and till commercialisation of women through each and every useless advertisement is practiced harassment of women not only in work place but in home, in street, in college everywhere will continue and male chauvinism tries to dominate the female submissiveness everywhere.

Whatever we discuss, it should be constructive and let's not forget that we are Indians and let's not ignore our past. It should not be like a discussion for discussion sake.



From India, Hyderabad
Dear Smita,

Well as regarding sexually explicit jokes, you got to judge it on case to case basis. Some jokes have other connotations and you must also remember the level of closeness before cracking such jokes. If on the first day in your Office your boss starts cracking sexually explicit joke then how would you take it?

The other reason for including jokes is stop riducules. In Times of India a few days back I read an article where a man working in a Golf Course as trainer in an European Country won a huge compensation on grounds of Sexual Harassment against his Company because every employee and his boss were joking and ridiculing him all the time because he lost a game against a lady in the Golf Course.

So, the joking need not be "sexual" in that sense.

The other point in want to make is that it is quite wrong to categorise a society as open and close on the basis "sexual" discussions taking place.

Modern and open society is usually based on the freedom and acceptance of expression in totality, discussion on sex is only a part and should remain at that.



From India, Thane
Hi Swastik!
A really nice Article. The case might be true in most organisations. In my organisation more than 70 percent of the employees are women. None of them have faced such a problem.
Also none of the male employees have faced any problem in this regard.

From India, Nasik
Dear All,

This is a topic that I have been watching regularly but refraining from commenting on so far.

Here's my take on this:

1. There are two approaches to the issue of gender based discrimination+ sexual harassment

a. Preventive (Non-discrimination) &

b. compensatory (Resolving SH Claims, rehabilitation of the "victim" and disciplinary process for the accused)

2. According to the current legislation in India, it seems that only women are covered under part 2. However, organisation can proactively do the first i.e. constitute policies that enforce non-discrimination

3. By law, (we as part of) organisations are required to have an internal redressal process & SH committee

4. The G2/3 by Global Reporting Index (UN) are a good set of international guidelines one can refer to

http://globalreporting.org <link updated to site home>

(Please search for "discrimination" on the page)

or, refer directly to G3 guidelines:


5. Greater focus is required on "inclusion & non-discrimination" rather than merely looking for ways for redressal (Prevention is better than cure). Education and open discussions...also helps in demonstrating that we, as responsible organisational members, are taking the necessary steps. It can start with a small module at Induction, as part of employee code of conduct, part of training on customer service/communication skills/leadership & ethics...

6. A framework that you may use (based on GRI):

a. Objective

b. Policy Statement

c. Company Values & Code of Conduct

d. Non-compliance with policy

e. Procedure for implementation of policy:

i. Existence and Basis of Policy

ii. Elements of Policy

iii. Scope of Reporting

iv. Related Job Role(s)

v. Communication of Policy

vi. Education and Training in Policy

vii. Relationship with Suppliers

viii. Supplier Responsibilities

f. Monitoring & Auditing system

g. Result for the current financial year:

7. Another good resource: www.ifeminists.net

Important: Any policy that is being drafted or revised on Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination/Health & Safety/Sexual -Harassment (prohibition) SHOULD always be formed after employee participation. This allows for the sector specific nuances (e.g. Male guard on a late night cab in call centres, no-touch concept for bar/restaurant workers etc) are catered to.

I hope this is helpful. Please do comment. My research is based on some of the work/study I have done over the last two-three years

1. Male Minority-experiences of men in a classroom (Paper)

2. Managing Diversity (Paper)

3. Drafting Policies for an Indian corporate giant.



From India, New Delhi

Nice to know [that too first hand] that the US law is gender neutral !!

Most democracies do NOT distinguish between genders !! :-) elementary ain't it !! ?

Our Law makers have been copying western laws for a long time

E.g. : The Indian Companies act 1956 was based on !! the British one. Many here may know that The then companies act had fines of Rs. 10/- for some offences !!. Ask why ?? -> the British act had a 10 pound fine [in the fifties !!], and so our people copied it, changed the currency and enacted the same here :-)

It took our law makers ALMOST 30 years [no jokes] i.e. till the middle of the 80s when rich industrialists paid Rs. 10/- and flouted rules regularly !!!

So came the companies act amendment etc etc ...

This is what happens when our LAW makers TRY TO copy legislation from the west

The latest mishap seems to be the DV bill, which CANNOT BE found to be so one sided, anywhere else in any other democracy !!

I see. I learned something today

nice definition ...

so that might be the next in India !!

Well summarized on the last line there



Dear Writer ,

After Breaking the Family “ Harmony”, now want to break the Work Place “Harmony”?

Close on the heels of the domestic violence act(A AK47 with out License to do the legal Terrorism), women’s organizations are working on the passage of a Bill on sexual harassment at the workplace.

The activists said that an “enabling environment”, which will encourage a woman employee to go ahead with her complaint as there should not be any punishment if she fail to prove her complain. The draft says that every employer shall constitute a committee chaired by an employee, preferably a woman, and including not less than two employees committed to the cause of women and one member from an NGO.

Economist Nirmala Banerjee, vice-president of the organisation, said that the activists did not intend to ignore cases of harassment of the male employee. But cases of harassment of women, as with incidents of domestic violence against them, far outnumber cases in which men are victimized.

Hence till the time the harassment against men does not reach to the level of Women, we should allow that to increase..Right??

If the women does not harrase their male employee, then why they want advance exemption in the proposed bill??

Wonder, why they are not ready to disclose it is a well planned move to get another AK47 in the name of Women Empowerment as their Legal terrorism after getting the AK 47 in the form of DV act still not covered their male employees.

LAW should be crime based , insead of any assumption of sex or caste.

From India, Delhi
Crime Is Crime. Punishment should be irrespective of gender, religion and caste. Let us be honest and fight for truth.
From India, Delhi

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