Ganderbal: Central University of Kashmir (CUK) Vice Chancellor, Prof Farooq Ahmad Shah Thursday called for taking proactive and stringent measures to check sexual harassment of women in the society, particularly at workplaces.
“Women facing sexual harassment have to break the taboo and courageously report the same to the law enforcement agencies so that the culprits are punished and a secure and safe environment is provided for their travel and working,” Prof Shah said while inaugurating an awareness programme on “Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace,” jointly organised by the varsity’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) and Women Empowerment Cell (WEC) at Green Campus here. The Vice Chancellor further said the sexual harassment complaints shall necessarily be disposed of in a time bound manner as it causes lot of distress to both the complainant and the accused. “In CUK, till date, the sexual harassment complaints have been addressed to the full satisfaction of the complainant,” Prof Shah remarked.
In her keynote address, Dean School of Law, Benett University Noida, Prof Nuzhat Parveen said the time has come for gender neutral laws. Prof Parveen said the Constitution has guaranteed safeguarding the dignity of women, working in organised or unorganised sector and laws have been framed to provide her a secure and suitable environment for working. “If the laws are not implemented in letter and spirit, then the professional output of women at workplaces would be adversely affected,” she said, adding the sexual harassment has its roots in patriarchy which need immediate attention and subsequent redressal.
Addressing the gathering, Registrar, Prof .M Afzal Zargar, said the primary objective of ICC is not only to probe the complaints of sexual harassment, but also to organise awareness and sensitization programmes for the employees. “During these programmes women employees shall be encouraged to report any harassment so that necessary action under rules is taken,” Prof Zargar said.
Speaking on the occasion, Finance Officer, Prof Fayaz A Nikka, deliberated threadbare on the role, functioning and mandate of ICC. Prof Nika said the ICC not only has to redress the complaints about the sexual harassments, but has a much larger role to aware and sensitise the employees about their fundamental and constitutional rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
Dean School of Life Sciences, Prof. Muhammad Yousuf in his address, asked the ICC to thoroughly scrutinize the complaints as there have been several instances wherein the allegations leveled have proven to be wrong. “After receiving the complaint, confidentiality has to be maintained about both the victim and the accused till the case is adjudicated,” he said.