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Lack of uniform guidelines in universities for sexual harassment cases

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New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University has received 51 complaints of sexual harassment, out of the 101 cases submitted to the Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs) in 16 universities and institutes in India, since 2013.

According to Swati Maliwal, DCW chairperson, the guidelines provided to various institutes to deal with complaints of sexual harassment are not uniform.

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) submitted reports showing that six of its cases are still waiting to be resolved. The Commission summoned the registrar of the Delhi University as its case data hasn’t been submitted yet.

source: The Hindu
source: The Hindu

The DCW report stated that resolution was carried out regarding most cases via settlement, and those cases which warranted punishment, were given so leniently.

“We have written to the University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Human Resource Development to frame uniform guidelines under the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013,” said Maliwal, The Hindu quoted.

Maliwal observed that most of the universities were not provided with funds to implement the Act, “barring JNU, which allocated Rs 3 lakh per annum, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and IGNOU, which earmarked Rs 2 lakh and Rs 50,000 per annum respectively.”

“Others have stated that the administration gives the fund from their budget as and when required,” added Maliwal. The Act has been violated in the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and the National School of Drama, and notices and summons have been forwarded to these institutes by the Commission to address them.

Taking into account the case details submitted by educational institutes and universities, the Commission is planning to send across recommendations to the Central and State governments on how the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013, can be implemented better.

Only 16 institutes submitted the required data to the Commission from among the 23 that the Commission had asked for.

“This exercise would aid the Commission to work towards ensuring effective implementation of the Act and as a result make Delhi safer for women,” said Maliwal.

(Inputs from The Hindu)

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Silicon Valley, Google Walk Off To Protest Against Mishandling Of Sexual Harassment Cases

The workers went back to their offices but vowed to continue pressuring Google to change.

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Google, Web summit, sexual misconduct, trafficking
Google employees fill Harry Bridges Plaza in front of the Ferry Building during a walkout, Nov. 1, 2018, in San Francisco. Hundreds of Google employees around the world briefly walked off the job in a protest against what they said is the tech company's mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives. VOA

It was a protest that went around the globe.

From Singapore to Dublin, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Pryor, Oklahoma, Google employees walked out of their offices to protest the internet search giant’s handling of sexual discrimination cases, and express their frustration with its workplace culture.

In San Francisco, where Google has several offices, hundreds of workers congregated at a plaza where they gave speeches and held signs. One read: “I reported and he got promoted.”

The unusual protest — tech companies are not unionized and typically keep strife about personnel matters behind closed doors — riveted Silicon Valley, which has struggled in recent years over the treatment of women in the industry.

Resignation, severance

The Google protest was spurred by a New York Times story that outlined allegations against high-profile leaders at the firm, including Andy Rubin, known as “the father of Android,” who was reportedly paid $90 million in severance. Rubin has denied the allegations in the article, as well as reports of his severance amount.

Richard DeVaul, a director at X, a unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, resigned from the company on Tuesday. He was accused of making unwanted advances to a woman who was a job applicant at the firm.

 

Google, protest
Google employees walk off the job in a protest against what they said is the tech company’s mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives. VOA

 

 List of demands

“We are a small part of a massive movement that has been growing for a long time,” protest organizers said in an article published in the online magazine The Cut. “We are inspired by everyone — from the women in fast food who led an action against sexual harassment to the thousands of women in the #metoo movement who have been the beginning of the end for this type of abuse.”

Leaders of the protest issued a list of demands, including that Alphabet add a worker-representative to its board of directors and that the firm internally disclose pay equity information.

They also asked the company to revise its human resources practices to make the harassment claims filing process more equitable, and to create a “publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.”

Google
Google employees gather in a courtyard as they take part in a walkout from their jobs at the Google campus in Kirkland, Washington. VOA

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees that “as CEO, it’s been personally important to me that we take a much harder line on inappropriate behavior. … We have taken many steps to do so, and know our work is still not done.”

Social media protest

The global protest unfolded on Twitter and Facebook as employees from offices around the world posted photos of themselves walking out at the appointed time of 11:10 a.m.

Google
Tanuja Gupta, programming director at Google, addresses hundreds of Google employees during a protest rally. VOA

 

The greatest concentration of Google workers is in the San Francisco area. In San Bruno, 12 miles south of San Francisco, employees at YouTube, which is part of Google, walked out, as did those in Mountain View, company headquarters.

“As a woman, I feel personally unsafe, because if something were to happen, what accountability measures will be in place to make sure that justice is sought?” said Google employee Rana Abdelhamid at the San Francisco protest.

Christian Boyd, another Google employee, was angry about what she said was protecting the powerful, even in the face of credible allegations.

“It’s sad to see that what we consider the best companies are not immune to this, as well,” Boyd said.

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About The #MeToo Movement

After 30 minutes of speeches, the workers went back to their offices but vowed to continue pressuring Google to change. (VOA)