Bill on sexual harrassment referred to panel

 The Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session in December. The Bill has now been referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development for a deeper “examination”.

The Committee, headed by Congress MP Oscar Fernandes, has sought opinion of various stakeholders, including the common man to fine tune the proposed legislation.

The move comes against the backdrop of the National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi suggesting to bring domestic workers under the purview of a proposed law for protection of women against sexual harassment at workplace.

Voicing concern over the exclusion of domestic workers from the purview of the Bill, the NAC sought amendments to certain clauses of the draft legislation. The government contended that as domestic workers were in the non-formal sector, it was difficult to bring them within the scope of the Bill.

The NAC also decided to ask the government to drop a clause in the Bill that they felt could prevent women from coming forward to seek protection against sexual harassment at workplace.

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