L et’s take a moment and analyse the current situation of the country where almost every 100th woman is joining the #MeToo moment and finally calling out the names of their harasser.
Too much has been said about Tanushree Dutta and her accusations against the veteran actor Nana Patekar. While many celebrities tweeted support, some passed on the question with a diplomatic statement. But the point here is ‘tweeted support’ the kind of support that the victims across the country need?
Everyone is talking about an incident that took place but how many of them are truly rooting for the reality? Not only did celebrities like Pooja Bhatt make a public statement about being harassed but social celebrities like Utsav Chakraborty was called out publically for molesting his fans.
Having said that, we as a media company would like you to know about certain laws that exist in our country to protect the women because yes, there are many women who haven’t narrated their story. And the nation isn’t law-handicapped, we are armed with laws for almost every situation.
Here’s the list of the same:
Equal right for hiring at workplace.
Every other Indian woman works, the government ensured gender equality and fare hiring rights at the time of recruitment with Section 4 and 5 of the Equal Remunerations Act, 1976.
The law allows both men and women equal pay and equal work rights.
Sexual harassment at workplace.
Vishaka Guidelines were set to protect women against sexual harassment at their workplace. In the year 2013 Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
Online harassment of women.
With the increase in cases of online harassment of girls and women around the country, we all should be aware of Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, which protects women from online-sexual harassment.
Indecent representation of women.
Indecently projecting women through advertisement or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner is prohibited in our country under the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
Rape is criminal offense and we all know it!
Sub Section 375 and 376(2) of the Indian Penal Code ensures 7 years and 10 years of imprisonment as the punishment for rape. Rape is a criminal offense, in fact, w.e.f from April 2018 even marital rape is considered as an offense in India.
Abusing women on social media is a crime.
Under IPC Section 509, abusing women on social media and making sexual remarks is a punishable offense. The accused is eligible to face 3 years of imprisonment and fine.
Attempting to make physical contact with a woman is a crime.
Under IPC Section 354 (A), forcefully making a physical contact with a woman is a criminal offense where the accused can be jailed for upto 3 years.
The inquiry for a sexual harassment case needs to be completed within 90 days.
According to the Sexual Harassment Of Women at Workplace Act, 2013, if a woman has filed a sexual harassment case, the inquiry has to be completed in the span of 90 days.
Posting objectionable material online intended to harass a woman is a crime.
Under Section 67 of the IT Act, posting images, video, any obscene material or sexually explicit electronic material online with an intention to harass a woman is a crime.
A workplace that has more than 10 employees should have a complaints committee.
Under the Sexual Harassment Of Women at Workplace Act, 2013, if a workplace has more than 10 employees then it is mandatory for them to have a complaints committee.
Morphing images of women is a crime.
As per IPC Section 499, morphing photos of women and forwarding or sharing them with the intention of harassing is a punishable crime which can land a man in the jail for up to 2 years and fine.
Demanding sexual favours for promotion or salary is a crime.
According to the Sexual Harassment Of Women at Workplace Act, 2013, any senior colleague who demands sexual favours against work benefits like salary hike and promotion is an act of harassment.
Sharing a woman’s private act, without her permission, in electronic form is a crime.
As per IPC Section 354 (C), sharing, watching or capturing a woman’s private act without her permission is both, voyeurism and a punishable crime.
Threatening a woman who has refused sexual advances is a crime.
Under IPC Section 503, threatening a woman, physically harming her or her reputation after she has clearly refused for sexual advances is a punishable crime.
Stalking someone is an act of harassment.
As per IPC Section 354 (D), following or stalking someone without their knowledge is both an act of harassment and a punishable crime.
Singing lustful songs to women in public places is a crime.
Under IPC Section 294, singing lustful songs intended to bother a woman in public places is considered sexual harassment.
The proceedings may be slow, but our laws are tight!
And it’s time that women are no longer treated as an object which is meant to have fun with.