The issue of sexual harassment at workplace has become a serious concern at the workplaces. However, the most astounding fact according to the Indian Bar Association study was that about 70% of women don’t report sexual harassment by superiors because they feared repercussions.
In an attempt to address the sexual harassment complaints, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, launched an online portal SHe-box to help women lodge complaints about sexual harassment.
SHe-box (Sexual Harassment Electronic Box), is an online portal that allows women to lodge complaints about sexual harassment at workplace. This online complaint management system will be hosted on the website of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. A cell under the Ministry will monitor the complaints and share the status with the organization’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). The portal was initially launched in July for government employees. Now, this service is extended to women working in private sector as well.
On the launch of SHe-Box, Maneka Gandhi, shared in media saying, “SHe-box’ (sexual harassment electronic box) — would be hosted on the WCD’s website. Harassment could include the use of foul language or cracking lewd jokes.
The intent behind introducing the SHe-box appears to be a positive one – to give employees an easy forum to raise complaints. This will push companies to ensure they have set up a proper committee and redressal mechanism so that employees do not feel the need to use the government portal.
The Ministry has published a Handbook and Training Module on the SH Act to provide information about the provisions of the Act in easy to use practical manner. The private organizations are encouraged to customize the Training Module as per their extant service rules and disciplinary procedures prescribed therein.
Ensuring the dignity and safety of women must be first priority for any digital society. Towards the realization of the vision of the Digital India program, the Ministry is promoting utilisation of information and communication technology to achieve the goal of gender equality and women empowerment. It is an effort to utilize the digital space to enable speedier response to the complaints of women against sexual harassment at the workplace.