Year : 2014  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 37--38

Need for gender neutral policy at workplace

Ganesh K Kulkarni 
 Siemens Ltd., Medicare and OHS, Thane, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Ganesh K Kulkarni
Siemens Ltd., Medicare and OHS, Thane - Belapur Road, Thane, Maharashtra - 400601

How to cite this article:
Kulkarni GK. Need for gender neutral policy at workplace.Indian J Occup Environ Med 2014;18:37-38

How to cite this URL:
Kulkarni GK. Need for gender neutral policy at workplace. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2014 [cited 2018 Mar 23 ];18:37-38
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Full Text

India's economy, telecommunication, dependence on technology and many social facets are constantly changing and hence is the relationship between men and women. Before the feminist movement, most men and women had very different relationships from those of today. Feminism has immensely influenced men and women relationship at workplace. The battle of the genders still rages in the minds of many.

The super-women went out to compete in a man's world and with man's definition of success. Men responded with anger that resulted into an ongoing tug of war between men and women. The fallout was physical abuse, domestic violence to control women and workplace sexual harassment. Hence, there is a need to establish a symbiotic relationship between man and woman through gender sensitivity.

Let us understand what gender sensitivity is all about and its impact area:

The concept of gender sensitivity has been developed to reduce the barriers of personal and economic development created by sexismIt is advisable to break the ice between the two sexes so that they get to know each other and understand better. They should express positive feelings about their workplace and the people aroundGender sensitivity helps to generate respect for individual irrespective of sexIt also indicates the many challenges that remain in order to close gender gaps, promote equality in education, employment and other spheres of work and familyAccording to modern trends, men and women are equally active players in the family, community, and national affairs. Women must be recognized as representing half of the world's most precious resources called human beings.Employers should commit to equal employment opportunity at workplace and management should not distinguish people on the on the basis of sex. For all management purposes, both men and women are gifted with the ability to work with diligenceHuman Resource Managers all over should define on how to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for women employees undergoing transition at the workplaceManagements must sensitize employees for gender sensitivity to prevent or minimize issues connected with sexual harassment that is illegal and train employees to be more vocal and how to say no to such advances firmly but with a smileIn India, we are witnessing increasing frequency of rape and inappropriate behavior with women. Taking into account such incidents, the Supreme Court had bought Vishaka guidelines on sexual harassment at workplace in 1997, and now the law has been enacted by Parliament to deal with this menace at workplace. The enacted law is known as "The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013." The Act is effective from December 9, 2013. The highlights of the act are as follows: Every women employee (both directly and indirectly employed) will be protected under the Act Applicable to all workplaces, units, branches, establishments, etc. of every organization Sexual harassment includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behavior (whether directly or by implication) namely: Physical contact and advances; or A demand or request for sexual favors; or Making sexually colored remarks; or Showing pornography; or Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct of a sexual nature.

All Corporates and Organizations have no option, but to set up Internal Complaints' Committee as stipulated in the law. The law doesn't cover the aspect of compliant from male employee and corporates can improve upon the existing law and provide internal complaints committee for male employees also to register complaints on sexual harassment at workplace.

It is beyond the scope of this editorial to bring all aspects of law, this is an effort to sensitize readers on a gender issues and understand what sexual harassment is all about. I trust gender sensitization can come under the larger umbrella of "diversity initiative" of the organization. Our efforts create a workplace that is safe for women employees to work with dignity and respect.