Increase in sexual harassment cases

Increase in sexual harassment cases

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF  WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO-1917
ANSWERED ON-01.12.2016

Increase in sexual harassment cases

1917  Shri Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur

(a) the reasons for increase in the number of cases of sexual harassment, exploitation of women in various professions and rape cases in rural and urban areas of the country; and 
(b) the preventive and punitive actions proposed by the Ministry to protect the victims and punish the guilty?

ANSWER
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
(SHRIMATI KRISHANA RAJ)

(a) There are many reasons behind increasing crimes against the women such as unequal economic, social and political status of women which is an outcome of deeply rooted patriarchal social construes.

(b) Safety of women in the country is of utmost priority for the Government. The Government is endeavouring to put in place effective mechanisms to provide safe environment for women. The Criminal Law (Amendment), Act 2013 has been enacted making the punishment more stringent for offences like rape. Provision for increased penalty for gang rape and causing serious injury to the victim resulting her to remain in a vegetative state have been made. New offences like acid attack, sexual harassment, voyeurism and stalking, disrobing a woman have been incorporated in the Indian Penal Code. Government has also enacted the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 to provide a safe and secure environment to women at the workplace.

Apart from the above, Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing scheme of One Stop Centre to provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence including sexual harassment. The scheme aims to facilitate access to an integrated range of services including medical aid, police assistance, legal aid/case management, psycho-social counselling, temporary support services to women affected by violence. Further, scheme for Universalisation of Women Helpline intended to provide 24 hours immediate and emergency response to women affected by violence including sexual harassment.

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