Workplace Sexual Harassment of Women Domestic Workers: Issues and Challenges in the Legal Framework in India
Rape and sexual assault are the more commonly recognized forms of gender based violence. However, issue of sexual harassment of women at workplace, though subtler and less researched, can be more repressive and intimidating. This chapter aims at providing a detailed analysis of the current scenario of workplace sexual harassment problem in the unorganized sector with special reference to domestic workers in India. The reasons for their vulnerability and the issue remaining underreported and repressive have been highlighted. The domestic and international instruments that bestow them with equal rights and safety at work places like any other worker, have been discussed. The author has made an attempt to highlight the related relevant but complex issues like definition of domestic workers, labour laws issues and employer-employee relationship. etc. The plight of such workers in various other countries have been discussed briefly. Further, the position of Delhi-NCR with special reference to Gurugram has been taken up as a special case study to highlight the lapses in execution of the applicable legal framework. The author has pointed out the need for regulation of placement agencies through proper legal framework, awareness generation amongst these women workers, rehabilitation and protection of such survivors as well as collection of statistical data on the issue on regular basis. Also, it has been suggested that there is a need to conduct organized research to ensure an adequate knowledge base for effective implementation and monitoring. At the end, few more suggestions have been provided that may render help to the legislature, policy makers and the government in formulation of future policies and/or guidelines to address the menace of workplace sexual harassment of the domestic women workers.
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