Gandhi asserted that she believes in the "pain and trauma" of every complainant and urged more women to come forward and address the issue of sexual harassment and narrate their experiences. The committee will look into the "legal & institutional framework which is in place for handling complaints" of sexual harassment at work, including some of the complaints if required, and "advise" the WCD ministry "on how to strengthen these frameworks", the Ministry tweeted from its official handle.
Remaining silent on the number of women who had approached it till date, the panel said that the "prevalent culture of silence has long prevented women from speaking out and reporting such cases".
The National Commission for Women said Wednesday many victims of sexual abuse do not want to "go beyond naming and shaming" the alleged offenders and lodge a formal complaint. On Friday, the #MeToo fire in Bollywood raged on with Sajid Khan stepping down as the director of the upcoming Housefull 4 after over five women levelled sexual harassment allegations against him.
Some women said they were inspired by the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the university researcher in the United States, who accused, without evidence, US supreme court judge nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers.
The legal defense fund for the Time's Up effort to fight workplace sexual harassment has been contacted by more than 3,500 women and men in 60 different types of workplaces including retail, restaurants, construction and offices.
A year after the #MeToo movement shook Hollywood, a decade-old sexual misconduct allegation against a popular male movie star in the Hindi film industry was reported to police, sparking a stream of allegations of inappropriate behavior by senior men in India.
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Indian actresses and writers are flooding social media with allegations of sexual harassment and assault, releasing pent-up frustration with a law lauded internationally but which critics say has done little to change the status quo. Cosby has since been found guilty and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
Union minister Maneka Gandhi said that cases of sexual harassment at work must be "dealt with a policy of zero tolerance".
Perhaps the most startling development has been the string of accusations against Junior External Affairs Minister M.J. Akbar.
Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi. "If they start doing that, it starts to have a very positive effect", she said. He denies her claims and has sent her a legal notice accusing her of making false allegations.
Also on October 8, journalist Sandhya Menon shared screenshots of her conversation with two women claiming that actor Rajat Kapoor harassed them over the phone.