General Studies IRole of WomenSOCIETY

Sexual Harassment Electronic Box (SHE Box)



About SHE box:

  • The Government of India (GoI) has enacted the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act),in 2013
  • The objective to create a safe and secure workplace for women free from sexual harassment.
  • This Act caters to women working both in organised and unorganised sector and establishes a redressal mechanism for the disposal of their complaints.
  • This Act is unique in its broad coverage which includes all women irrespective of their work status, whether working in organised or unorganised, public or private sectors, regardless of hierarchy. The domestic workers are also included within its ambit.
  • It defines “sexual harassment at the workplace” in a comprehensive manner, to cover circumstances of implied or explicit promise or threat to a woman’s employment prospects or creation of hostile work environment or humiliating treatment, which can affect her health or safety. For details, kindly read the FAQ uploaded on the portal.
  • This Sexual Harassment electronic Box (SHe-Box) is an effort of GoI to provide a single window access to every woman, irrespective of her work status, whether working in organised or unorganised, private or public sector, to facilitate the registration of complaint related to sexual harassment.
  • Any woman facing sexual harassment at workplace can register their complaint through this portal.
  • Once a complaint is submitted to the ‘SHe-Box’, it will be directly sent to the concerned authority having jurisdiction to take action into the matter.

The Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013

  • The Act defines sexual harassment at the workplace and creates a mechanism for redressal of complaints. It also provides safeguards against false or malicious charges.
  • Every employer is required to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee at each office or branch with 10 or more employees.
  • The Complaints Committees have the powers of civil courts for gathering evidence.
  • The Complaints Committees are required to provide for conciliation before initiating an inquiry if requested by the complainant.
  • Penalties have been prescribed for employers. Non-compliance with the provisions of the Act shall be punishable with a fine.
  • Repeated violations may lead to higher penalties and cancellation of license or registration to conduct business.
  • The State Government will notify the District Officer in every district, who will constitute a Local Complaints Committee (LCC) so as to enable women in the unorganised sector or small establishments to work in an environment free of sexual harassment.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome act or behaviour (whether express or implied), such as:-

  • Physical contact or advance
  • A demand or request for sexual favours
  • Making sexually coloured remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Any other physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment at workplace can take various forms. It can involve conduct such as:

  • unwelcome touching, hugging or kissing
  • staring or leering
  • suggestive comments or jokes
  • unwanted or persistent requests to go out
  • intrusive questions about another person’s private life or body
  • Deliberately brushing up against someone
  • insults or taunts of a sexual nature
  • sexually explicit pictures, posters, screen savers, emails, twitters, SMS or instant messages
  • accessing sexually explicit internet sites
  • inappropriate advances on social networking sites
  • behaviour which would also be an offence under the criminal law, such as physical assault indecent exposure sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.

Sexual harassment of workplace is of two kinds:

  1. Quid pro quo is a Latin term which literally means ‘this for that’. Quid pro quo sexual harassment means subjecting a woman to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature on account of the following:
    1. To force the woman to agree with such conduct by promising/threatening her (explicitly or implicitly) preferential/detrimental treatment in her job. For example: if you agree to accompany me on a study tour, I will give you promotion or in case you refuse, I will transfer you other place.
    1. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by the woman is used as the basis for deciding the future course of her job. For example: if you refuse to obey my demand, I will not renew your contract.
  2. Hostile work environment: Creation of a hostile, intimidating or an offensive work environment with the purpose of unreasonably interfering with woman’s work performance or subjecting woman to humiliating treatment likely to affect her health and safety.

What is Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)?

Every organization has to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) having following members

  • Chairperson – Women working at senior level in the organisation
  • 2 Members (at least) – Amongst employees committed to women issues, have legal knowledge or experience in social work
  • 1 Member – from NGO

If the organisation has workplaces located at different places or division or sub-division level, then ICC will be constituted at every workplace.

What is Local Complaints Committee (LCC)?

The State Government will notify the District Magistrate/Additional District Magistrate/ Collector/ Deputy Collector as District Officer in every district, who will constitute a Local Complaints Committee (LCC) so as to enable women in the unorganised sector or small establishments to work in an environment free of sexual harassment. The LCC will have following members:

  • Chairperson– Nominated from amongst the eminent women in the field of social work and committed to the cause of women
  • Member– Nominated from amongst the women working in the block, taluka or tehsil or ward or municipality in the district
  • 2 Members– Nominated from amongst such NGO/ associations/persons committed to the cause of women or familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, provided that:
    • At least one must be a woman
    • At least one must have a background of law or legal knowledge
  • Ex Officio member – The concerned officer dealing with social welfare or women and child development in the district.

Non constitution of Complaints Committee is punishable with a fine of Rs. 50,000/- and repeat offenders will be punished with cancellation/withdrawal of licence/registration required for carrying on business activities. The aggrieved can approach the court to complain about the same.

.What kind of punishment could be awarded under the Act?

  • As prescribed under the Service Rules
  • In case service rules do not exist
    • Disciplinary action including written apology, reprimand, warning, censure
    • withholding of promotion/ pay raise/ increment
    • Termination of employment
    • Undergo counselling
    • Community service
  • Deduction from salary for:
    • Mental Trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused
    • Medical expenses incurred
    • The loss of career opportunity
    • The income and financial status of respondent
  • If the amount is not paid it can be recovered as arrear of land revenue

Source: PIB

You can find many articles on ROLE OF WOMEN (part of GS I) in our website. Go through these articles share with your friends and post your views in comment section.

Leave a Reply

Open chat
Hello Dear Aspirant,
Join our whatsapp group here to get Daily Newspapers, Magazines, Monthly, Question Banks and much more..
Just ping us your Name..
See you then..!!!