Kerala Law Academy

Women Grievance Cell

As an innovative practice, the Institution has established Women’s Grievance Cell with the objectives of redressing the grievances of the students and the staff, of any sort related to women. In 1997, the Supreme Court in Vishakha and others vs. State of Rajasthan, recognised and addressed the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace. The judgement created mandatory sexual harassment prevention guidelines for the workplace, applicable all over India. The knowledge and information about it can lead to a workplace free of sexual harassment for all persons.Sexual harassment injects the most demeaning sexual stereotypes into the general work environment and always represents an intentional assault on a person’s innermost privacy.

  • In compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court of India to have a special Sexual Harassment Committee as mandatory, the Women’s Grievance Cell also functions as Sexual  Harassment Committee.
  • It provides confidential and supportive environment for members of the campus community who might likely have been sexually harassed; advises complainant of the informal and formal means of redressal; ensures the fair and timely redressal of sexual harassment complaints. (However so far no instances of sexual harassment have been reported)
  • It provides information regarding counselling and support services on the campus, and promotes awareness about sexual harassment through educational initiatives that encourages and fosters a respectful and safe campus environment.

What is Sexual Harassment?

According the Supreme Court Order, sexual harassment is any unwelcome:

  • Physical contact and advances,
  • Demand or request for sexual favour
  • Sexually coloured remarks
  • Display of pornography
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
  • Basically it is any unwelcome words or actions of sexual nature.

Examples :

  • Denial of payment or official approval in the absence of sexual favours
  • Pornographic pictures/messages displayed on desks or sent by email
  • Remarks made about personal appearance and dress
  • Coloured jokes shared in the office that make others present feel uncomfortable.

Functions of the Cell :

To provide a neutral, confidential and supportive environment for members of the campus community who may have been sexually harassed;

  • To advice complainants of the informal and formal means of resolution as specified by the Cell;
  • To ensure the fair and timely resolution of sexual harassment complaints;
  • To provide information regarding counselling and support services on the campus;
  • To ensure that students, faculty and staff are provided with current and comprehensive materials on sexual harassment and assault;
  • To promote awareness about sexual harassment through educational initiatives that encourages and fosters a respectful and safe campus environment.

The Cell seeks to inform the campus community of their right to a respectful work and learning environment. It believes that if we practice respect, exercise empathy in our interactions with others so that we do not hurt anyone through what we say or do then we can create a campus that is free of sexual harassment. Simple respect for all on the campus community is thus the focus.

The Cell seeks to achieve

  • Awareness Through Dissemination of Information – through production, distribution and circulation of printed materials, posters and handouts
  • Awareness Through Workshops – about sexual harassment for faculty, non-teaching staff and students. The aim is to develop non-threatening and non-intimidating atmosphere of mutual learning.
  • Awareness by Counseling – Confidential counseling service is an important service as it provides a safe space to speak about the incident and how it has affected the victim because sexual harassment cases are rarely reported as it is being a sensitive issue.

 Working modality of the Cell:

  • The complainant will have to submit a written and signed complaint addressed to the Secretary of the Cell.
  • The counselor will call the complainant for a personal meeting, usually within a week from the submission of the written complaint.
  • The members of the Cell will discuss the complaint.
  • If the case falls outside the purview of the Cell, the complainant will be informed about the same by the appropriate authority.
  • If the case comes under the purview of the Cell, an enquiry committee will be set up. The Committee will submit a report and recommend the nature of action to be taken at the earliest by the appropriate authority.

 Current Members of the Cell:

As per guidelines given in Vishakha Judgment and according  to the State Govt. directions,Dayanand College of Law has duly constituted Women Grievance Cell.

Following are the members of the Cell.

1. Dr. Annie John – Chairman

2. Mrs. S.A.Mahajan – Vice Chairman

3. Mrs. Kumudini Bhargav – Member (NGO)

4. Shri Patil B. B. – Member

5. Miss. Panchal  S. D. – Member

6. Miss. Nathani P. .P — Member

Activities of the Cell

A Guest Lecture on ‘Sexual Harassment At Workplace’ was organized in which Prof. Bhisen of Dayanand College of Arts delivered the lecture. Several other lectures were delivered on different occasions on the same theme. PHOTOS???

Women Grievance Cell Activities