Finally, Government of India stepped in #MeToo
Last few days has brought disaster to the entire Nation. The online #MeToo movement agitated men across the globe. Women voicing their experiences againsttook the nation to a different level. The storm did not spare a single industry. The Bollywood Industry, the political world, the authors, all looped within the storm. Online media for back to back revelations on the forefront. Indeed, the world is going digital. And, now the government takes a significant step against the movement. Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi announced the formation of a #MeToo panel that would discuss the issues related to the #MeToo movement.
Menka Gandhi on #MeToo
The women and child development minister, Maneka Gandhi stood by the metoo campaign. She addressed the nation and said that the government would form a separate #MeToo panel comprising of judges. The aim of the #MeToo discussion panel is intended to advise on the cases on social media. Metoo campaign is taking a rapid momentum, and it’s high that for the government to step forward to support the cause.
To quote her words :
“I believe in the pain and trauma behind every single complaint. Dealing with cases of sexual harassment at work with a policy of zero tolerance,” Gandhi said in a statement.
The #MeToo panel will be into action by the next week and seek discussion on the issues posted on the social media in awe of the #MeToo campaign.
The focus of the #MeToo panel
The #MeToo panel would consist of the framework plying within the 2013 Act of Sexual Harassment of Women at the workplace (prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) along with the formation of a committee for filing the Internal Complaints, as mandated by the law.
The #MeToo discussion panel would assess the credibility of the complaints as posted on social media. Further, the #MeToo panel would scrutinize each aspect of the duration of crime reporting instead of the Statute of limitations as posted.
Until now, Section 468 of the CrPC sets limitations for a complaint post the occurrence of an offense stated as the Statute of Limitations. According to the above limitations, if any offense is punishable with a fine under the act, then it needs to be reported within 6 months.
Also, the #MeToo panel allows the stakeholders to meet and depose certain amendments necessary for the cause. The WCD minister, Maneka Gandhi said that as long as people continue to name and shame the criminals, the victims can effectively reduce the pain.
She-Box & #HelpMeWCD
Another significant aim of the #MeToo panel is to form a committee that would listen to the women. She please all the working women to step forward and also register complaints with the government. A new initiative by the government is the portal of the ‘She-Box’ launched two years ago.
She said: Women can easily reach me via the #helpmeWCD on Twitter.
An excellent step by the government. The #MeToo storm was just a viral fever online but as the Indian government seeks to help the cause, the definition of the movement changes.
Will this bring a change to the way men view women and whether the rate of sexual harassment in the nation decreases is what we are seeing further.