COMMITTEE AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT


INTRODUCTION

        In compliance with the Supreme Court Judgment and guidelines issued in 1997 to provide for the effective enforcement of the basic human right of gender equality and guarantee against sexual harassment and abuse, more particularly against sexual harassment at work places. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued circulars since 1998, to all the universities, advising them to establish a permanent cell and a committee and to frame guidelines to combat sexual harassment, violence against women and ragging at the universities and colleges. It has further advised the universities to be proactive by developing a conducive atmosphere on the campus, where the women are respected and they are treated with dignity.
As per the guidelines of UGC and the Supreme Court, a Committee Against Sexual Harassment (CASH) has established by HNGU, Patan since January, 2014 to provide a healthy and congenial atmosphere to the staff and students of the University.
Only complaints under jurisdiction of HNGU, Patan against sexual harassment come under the purview of Committee Against Sexual Harassment.

The CASH is committed to :
  • Observing the law on Sexual Harassment
  • Sensitizing the campus community on gender issues
  • Addressing complaints from victims
THE OBJECTIVE OF CASH

  • Prevent discrimination and sexual harassment against women, by promoting gender amity among students and employees.
  • Develop the guidelines and norms for a policy against sexual harassment. Work out procedures for combating sexual harassment and implementation of the policy.
  • Make recommendations to Honorable Vice Chancellor for changes/elaborations in the Rules for students in the Prospectus and the Bye-Laws, to make them gender just. Also to lay down procedures for the prohibition, resolution, settlement and prosecution of acts of discrimination and sexual harassment against women, students and the employees.
  • Deal with cases of discrimination and sexual harassment against women in a time bound manner and aiming at ensuring support services to the victim. Recommend appropriate punitive action against the guilty party to the Honorable Vice Chancellor.
  • To prepare a detailed plan of action, both short and long term.
MEMBERS OF CASH

The Committee consists of members of the faculty, administration, Non teaching staff, Doctor and NGO representative.

Chairperson: Prof. ( Dr.) Sangita  Sharma (Teaching Faculty)                           9825017096

Members: 

1.  Dr.  Smita V. Vyas  (Teaching Faculty)                                                         9924123116

2.  Dr.  Illa C. Patel     (Teaching Faculty)                                                        9998981330

3.  Ms. Riddhi Agarwal (Teaching Faculty)                                                       9924159729

4.  Dr. Hetal Patel (Teaching Faculty)                                                              9408201136

5.  Dr. Atul Kadia (Teaching Faculty)                                                                9428957940

6.  Dr. Neha Patel (Non teaching Representative)                                              8511653465

7.  Mr. Vijay Bhatt (Non teaching Representative)                                             9824068422

8.  Ms. Nidhi Rami - BBA (Student Graduate Level)

9.  Ms. Sarika - M.P.Ed. (Student Post Graduate Level)

10. Ms. Neelam Kanasara - Biotech (Student Research Level)

11. Ms. Sandhyaben Pradhan (Third Party)                                                       9824176444

12. Ms. Ushaben Buch (NGO Representative)                                                    9998964058
                                
THE LAWS ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  • The Supreme Court, which regards sexual harassment as a violation of human rights and as a form of systematic discrimination against women, has issued guidelines to prevent, as well as punish, perpetrators of sexual harassment.
  • It is legally mandatory for employers and administrators to deploy measures for combating and redressing incidents of sexual harassment in their organizations.
  • The committee is set up in the Supreme Court to deal with instances of sexual harassment within its precincts has decided that aggrieved women can send their complaints to it by post or email. "The aggrieved women as defined in clause 2(a) of the Gender Sensitization and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013 may make a complaint in writing of sexual harassment at Supreme Court of India precincts to the GSICC through its Member Secretary - Rachna Gupta, Registrar," the circular reads, adding it has been done to sensitize the general public on gender issues.
  • It said the first meeting of the committee was held on December 9, 2013 to workout the modalities for the effective implementation of "The Gender Sensitization and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013" and to take decision on related issues.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS DEFINED
According to the Supreme Court, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexually determined behaviour such as:
  • Physical contact, gestures, or stalking
  • A demand or request for sexual favors
  • Sexually oriented remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Use of electronic media (phone, internet, intranet) for perpetrating any of the above
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature
The following is also sexual harassment and is covered by the committee:
  • Eve-teasing
  • Unsavoury remarks
  • Jokes causing or likely to cause awkwardness or embarrassment
  • Innuendos and taunts
  • Gender based insults or sexist remarks
  • Unwelcome sexual overtone in any manner such as over telephone (obnoxious telephone calls)
  • Touching or brushing against any part of the body
  • Displaying pornographic or other offensive or derogatory pictures cartoons, pamphlets or sayings
  • Forcible physical touch or molestation and
  • Physical confinement against one's will and any other act likely to violate one's privacy.
It is important to note here that what constitutes sexual harassment is defined by the victim, and not by the perpetrator. Sexual harassment could be difficult to identify due to prevailing and pervasive myths such as:
  • decently dressed women are not sexually harassed
  • women who object to sexual harassment are over-reacting
  • women keep quiet when harassed because they like eve-teasing, and sexist attitudes such as provocatively dressed women ask to be sexually harassed and have no right to complain.

The above instances are examples of further victimizing and traumatizing victims of sexual harassment.

Attempts to influence/intimidate by linking professional advancement with sexual favours, or creating a hostile work environment through (for instance) sexually coloured conversations, letters, telephone calls and text messages, or making demeaning comments about women's roles in society are all cases of sexual harassment.

In short, the definition of sexual harassment is broad enough to include all kinds of offensive, hostile, intimidating, humiliating and exploitative language, gestures and conduct.

DO'S AND DON'T'S

  • Don't feel a sense of shame. Tell the harasser very clearly that you find this behaviour offensive.
  • Don't ignore the harassment in the hope that it will stop on its own; come forward and complain.
  • Talk to somebody you trust about the harassment. It will not only give you strength, but also help others to come forward and complain.
  • Keep a detailed record of all incidents related to the sexual harassment. If you feel the need to register a formal complaint later, this record will be helpful.
  • Most importantly, the victim must never blame herself for the harassment.
ACTION

  • If informal methods such as telling the perpetrator to stop harassing do not succeed, the victim can lodge a complaint through email or by a telephone call to any of the members.
  • The complainant's name and identity will be kept confidential.
OTHER ACTIVITIES OF CASH

  • The CASH committe has been involved in awareness and sensitization campaigns via lectures one to one contact by committee members and the distribution of material at the beginning of each academic year.
  • International Women's Day is celebrated in March each year with a program of content relevant to the community such as lectures by women role models, panel discussions, dramas, plays, skits, poster competition etc.