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Prevention of Sexual Harassment : A New Policy in IGNOU

Prevention, Prohibition and Punishment in case of Sexual Harassment of Women, 2008

The Board of Management at its 102nd meeting held on 14.10.2009 (vide Res. No.102.9.1) approved IGNOU Policy paper on the Prevention, Prohibition and Punishment in the case of Sexual Harassment of Women, 2008 document and its implementation in the University.

POLICY:

The right of women to protection from sexual harassment and the right to work with dignity are recognised as universal human rights by international instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which has been ratified by India.

The Supreme Court in the Vishakha judgment has held that each incident of sexual harassment results in the violation of the fundamental rights of Gender Equality and the Right to Life and Liberty. Sexual harassment is a clear violation of a woman’s right to gender equality as guaranteed under Articles 14 and 15, her right to live with dignity under Article 21 and her right to work with dignity in a safe environment under Article 19(1) (g) of the Constitution of India.

OBJECTIVES OF THE POLICY

  • To fulfil the directive of the Supreme Court of India enjoining all employers to develop and implement a policy against sexual harassment of women at the work place.
  • To uphold Womens Right to Protection against Sexual Harassment and the Right to Livelihood and towards that end for the prevention and redressal of Sexual Harassment of Women
  • To evolve a permanent mechanism for the prevention, prohibition and redress of sexual harassment of women within the jurisdiction of IGNOU.
  • To actively promote a social, physical and psychological environment that will raise awareness about and deter acts of sexual harassment of women.
  • To ensure the implementation of the policy in letter and spirit by undertaking all necessary and reasonable steps including the constitution of appropriate Committees for purposes of gender sensitization and to conduct enquiries into complaints of sexual harassment.
  • To uphold the commitment of IGNOU to provide an environment free of discrimination and violence against women
  • To generate public opinion against sexual harassment of women at the workplace.

(Policy : http://www.ignou.ac.in/sex_harrasment/Rules_and_procedure/Policy.doc)
(Rules & Procedure : http://www.ignou.ac.in/sex_harrasment/Rules_and_procedure/Rules%20and%20Procedures.doc)

A notification constituting various committees against sexual harassment as required in terms of the approved policy is attached herewith. (http://www.ignou.ac.in/sex_harrasment/040310/Notification_reg.doc)