Lip service for PoSH would be an opportunity lost

Lip service for PoSH would be an opportunity lost
India Inc. needs to understand that the SHW law is merely a step in building a safe work environment for women to start with and all sexes to end with. If compliance is done as lip service, it is an opportunity lost. Workplaces need to be educated and empowered not just to comply with the law, but to create a safe and healthy workspace.

After eight years of POSH law, do you think it has achieved its objectives and has delivered what was expected of it?

DS The 2013 law on workplace sexual harassment (SHW Law) was implemented in December 2013 and is now in its 9th year of operation. When I reflect back on its’ journey so far as someone who was involved in its drafting process, I do so with a sense of humility. While so much has been accomplished, there is still so much more to do.

Let’s first focus on whether we have achieved the objective of the law – The SHW Law did not come out of a vacuum – it itself is a milestone in an important journey embarked on by India when it ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. This was in 1993.

The SHW Law, brought about 20 years later, only codifies one aspect of protection for women – protection against sexual harassment at the workplace in recognition of their right to work with dignity.

Are we anywhere close to achieving this objective?...

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Dr. Devika Singh

Advocate is Co-Founder & Country Practice Head, Cohere Consultants. A registered practitioner with the Bar Council of India and on the rolls of solicitors of England and Wales, Advocate Devika Singh is a doctorate holder from the VU university, Netherlands and has a Masters in Law from Kings College London for which she was awarded a full scholarship by the DFID, UK.
She aided the drafting and passage of the law on sexual harassment in the workplace in 2013 and the amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act in 2017. She has also been an advisor to the Government of India on laws protecting children from sexual offences, amendments to the IPC, laws on human trafficking and laws to protect women from domestic violence. She recently advised the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Surrogacy Regulation Bill.

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Dr. Devika Singh

Advocate is Co-Founder & Country Practice Head, Cohere Consultants. A registered practitioner with the Bar Council of India and on the rolls of solicitors of England and Wales, Advocate Devika Singh is a doctorate holder from the VU university, Netherlands and has a Masters in Law from Kings College London for which she was awarded a full scholarship by the DFID, UK.
She aided the drafting and passage of the law on sexual harassment in the workplace in 2013 and the amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act in 2017. She has also been an advisor to the Government of India on laws protecting children from sexual offences, amendments to the IPC, laws on human trafficking and laws to protect women from domestic violence. She recently advised the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Surrogacy Regulation Bill.

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