Dedicated to my wife…

Read on to know what happens to men who marry in India

Wanted: Gender-neutral laws

Posted by iluvshrutiverma on August 16, 2010

If women like Uma Challa had their way, they would change all gender-biased laws that exist in India today, including Section 498A of the IPC or the dowry law.

The draft Bill on Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at the Workplace may be ready, but some women actually think it is heavily biased against men. If women like Uma Challa had their way, they would change all gender-biased laws that exist in India today, including Section 498A of the IPC or the dowry law. Challa argues that the dowry law is being misused by many women to harass their husbands and in-laws.

Hyderabad-based Challa launched a forum called All India Forgotten Women, under the aegis of Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) in 2005, in response to the “large-scale arrests of women falsely accused under Section 498A IPC”.

The draft Bill on sexual harassment at the workplace, she says, does not have provisions to protect men from similar harassment at the workplace and it thus undermines the Indian Constitution, which states that men and women have the same right to equality and life.

“The Bill and its architects undermine the basic truth that sexual harassment is neither about sex nor gender. It is about power, and a woman in power can be every bit as abusive as a man,” Challa says.

“The Bill requires that committees for redressing grievances consist of persons `committed to the cause of women’. If committees are filled with individuals committed to the cause of women and not to the cause of truth, law and justice, is it hard to foretell the fate of males in an institution or in society as a whole,” she asks.

Challa, who is also president of The All India Men’s Welfare Association, says the Bill contains provisions for `conciliation’ and `settlement’ between the `aggrieved’ woman and the respondent. If `conciliation’ happens and `settlement’ is arrived at, no further inquiry will be conducted. If, however, the terms and conditions of `conciliation’ and `settlement’ are not met by the accused, an inquiry will be conducted.

“When sexual harassment at the workplace is considered a grievous crime which warrants a special and stringent law, what is the purpose of having a `conciliation’ and `settlement’ plan? In what way is this law different from the dowry law, which is being used as a weapon of extortion,” she asks.

She says countries around the world, including the USA, the UK and all member countries of the European Union, have gender-neutral sexual harassment prevention laws. “Even Pakistan, which passed a similar Bill in January 2010, embraced the principle of gender neutrality,” she adds.
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/88344/wanted-gender-neutral-laws.html

http://wp.me/plC3a-dj

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Wanted: Gender-neutral laws”

  1. Thank God, a person like her is not allowed to have her way. I am not questioning her crusade for justice but am questioning her blatant denial of the problem which lies at the core.

  2. I completely agree with you. We currently have laws which are biased towards women. What we currently need is laws which are unbiased, which take neutral view on the men & women both.

  3. Vijay Hansran said

    @ Being an Indian Woman:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. If we continuing to have baked laws like 498a/DV and now this bill on sexual harassment at work, where will the society go. I think it is yourself who is denying the core of the problem. Just like the earlier so called “woman friendly” laws, this one too shall be victimizing woman more than men. I shudder to think what will happen when rampant misuse of this law takes place by unscrupulous woman trying to settle scores with employers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: