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Is Sexual Harassment at workplace gender-specific?

By Bhavneet Vohra July 29, 2016

As the name of the Act itself specifies- The Sexual Harassment of WOMEN at workplace, 2013 protects women employees from sexual harassment that is perpetrated by the male employees who are working at that workplace. There is no law made by the Parliament of India to protect the males who are subject to harassment perpetrated by females or males. Absence of the GENDER NEUTRAL laws is the basic criticism of this act as it does not take into consideration the issue like gender based discrimination and gender equality at workplaces.

This is a violation of the Article 14 and Article 15 of the Constitution of India. There are several cases of assault and humiliation of men by women. So it is necessary for the enactment of gender neutral laws that protect the interest of both the genders. Since our law grants many benefits to the women and places them often at a higher pedestal which often lead to negative results as the women start misusing the law for their personal gains and benefits. Due to this there is always an apprehension and fear in the minds of men as the Sexual Harassment law is fully capable to destroy and hamper the long build goodwill and reputation of men by ill willed women. However, law has made certain provisions which enable to prevent the misuse of the Act by ill willed women that is embedded in the Section 14 of the Act – Punishment for false and malicious complaint and false evidence.

The Sexual Harassment Act was enacted with a view to protect the interest of the women and to ensure equality in the society that is granted under Article 14 and Article 15 of the Constitution of India. Moreover, Article 21 of the Constitution also grants the right to life and to live with dignity.

Though some people have a view that this the concept of sexual harassment is not based on sex or gender but it is related to domination, strength and power. But the main thing we need to ensure is that along with the women, men should also be covered under the protection from harassment as per the law.


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Tags: discrimination , gender , sex , workpalce , women , men , gender neutral , equality

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