#MeToo: Punjab Women’s Commission issues guidelines to departments

#MeToo: Punjab Women’s Commission issues guidelines to departments
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Chandigarh: Applauding the #MeToo movement, Punjab State Women Commission Chairperson Manisha Gulati on Monday issued guidelines regarding women’s safety in workplaces.

Gulati said the Commission has decided to frame a policy for the entire staff, administrators and elected officials “so that no one harasses a woman in future at workplaces”.

She said the Commission had announced certain rules and regulations to prevent any kind of sexual harassment.

“Under these guidelines, sexual harassment may occur not only where a person uses sexual behaviour to control, influence or affect the career, salary or job of another person but also between co-workers.

“All male officers and ministers are required to understand that if a female employee is being called for any kind of discussion or meeting into a confined space, he needs to have a minimum of one other woman in the office for the entire duration of the meeting.

“No discussion which includes salary appraisals of the female junior or involving money shall be done with any indication of receiving any favour from the female employee,” she said.

Gulati said that physical contact and advances shall be considered as sexual harassment and it was mandatory that no male employee shall behave in any manner which can be construed as sexual in nature.

“Sexually colored remarks or remarks of a sexual nature about female’s clothing or body are strictly prohibited at workplace. Indulging in any humour laced with sexual innuendos, sexual teasing and sexual pranks are not allowed,” she added.

She said that any jokes, photos, GIFs, videos or even plain text sent to any female’s mobile phone by a male colleague, junior or senior, shall be seen as sexual harassment of the female employee and shall be dealt with strictly.

“Any communication happening on mobile devices including mobile phones, tablets, computers, or even landlines are not limited by office hours and hence any objectionable content sent by a male colleague, junior or senior, to a female, even outside the office hours, shall not be tolerated by the Commission and be dealt with in lines with sexual harassment,” Gulati added.

Punjab Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is under fire from the opposition after reports of a complaint against him that he recently sent indecent messages to a senior woman IAS officer in Punjab.