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Take immediate action on complaint of sexual harassment; punish the guilty: CITU

Ensure strict implementation of the POSH Act in all institutions including the judicial institutions: CITU statement

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The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and its women’s sub-committee, the All India Coordination Committee of Working Women (AICCWW-CITU) express their anguish at the shocking revelation of a civil judge from Banda, Uttar Pradesh, about the sexual harassment and torture she has undergone to the extent making her seeking permission to end her life.
The complaint by the civil judge against a particular district judge and his associates that she was abused in the open court and her continuous complaints including an application for transfer has been of no use, gives a picture of the situationfaced by the working women even of the stature of a judge in the judicial system as well.
Her narration (as reported) that “I wish to tell the working women in India; Learn to live with sexual harassment. It’s the truth of our lives” and “The POSH Act (2013) is a big wholesome lie” reflects the experience of the majority of the working women in our country who are non- unionised and are compelled to fight their battle individually. If this is the plight of a judge, one can imagine what private sector women worker and the unorganised sector working women are facing.
AICCWW (CITU) has been continuously demanding and fighting for the strict implementation of the POSH Act in all the workplaces including in the unorganised sector. In most of the establishments including the central government offices and ministries, the Internal Committees as per the POSH Act is not formed or not functioning even after ten years of the passing of the law. The Local committees are not even formed in majority of the districts.
It is the experience of the working women’s movement in the country that through collective effort and unionization we could make this law implemented. It has been a demand of the trade union movement that the representatives (women) of the trade unions must also be included in the ICs.
We welcome that the Chief Justice of India has ordered and enquiry into the case. We demand that a thorough stock taking of the functioning of the ICs as well as the local committees and strict implementation of the law in both organised as well as unorganised sectors immediately by the concerned ministry and enforcement authorities at various levels.
CITU and AICCWW (CITU) call upon the working women in general and its units and women’s sub committees in particular to intensify the campaign among the workers on their rights and the struggles for the implementation of the POSH Act.
-- A R Sindhu, Convenor, AICCWW (CITU), Secretary CITU

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