India

Maneka Gandhi urges Bollywood to ensure safe workplaces for women

14 Dec 2017 | By Sneha Bengani

Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, wrote letters on Wednesday to 24 top Bollywood production houses, urging them to enforce the sexual harassment act.

Aimed to ensure a safe working environment for the women employed in the Hindi film industry, the move comes in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, that has exposed the rampant sexual exploitation prevalent in Hollywood.

In context: When Maneka Gandhi wrote to top Bollywood producers

14 Dec 2017Maneka Gandhi urges Bollywood to ensure safe workplaces for women

DetailsAll filmmakers 'ethically and legally' accountable to ensure women safety

Gandhi wrote to filmmakers including Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Ekta Kapoor, Aamir Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

She asked them to implement the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition Redressal) Act, 2013, on war footing.

As leaders of their studios, she notified that they were "ethically and legally accountable" to provide a safe and inclusive workplace to all their staff.

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Salient featuresWhat is Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013?

According to the Act, it's every woman's human right to work with dignity, practise any profession or occupation, and have a safe work environment free from sexual harassment.

It also makes it mandatory to have systems in place to ensure female employees across sectors are entitled to all of the above.

Maneka Gandhi writes to top filmmakers on workplace sexual harassment

The letterSafe working environment is every woman's right, says Maneka Gandhi

According to PTI reports, the letter stated: "The aim of this law is to ensure that no woman is sexually harassed at her workplace. This is to be followed in letter and spirit by all organizations in the country."

"I expect you to personally lead these efforts with sincerity and commitment, in accordance with all the applicable laws," it added.

MeasuresAll firms to have an internal complaints committee

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently agreed to Gandhi's request to amend the Companies Act, 2013, making it compulsory for all firms to constitute an internal complaints committee for reporting sexual harassment at work.

The government had last month launched SHe-Box - an online portal for its employees to lodge complaints of sexual misconduct.