Cell Against Harassment and Atrocities against Women
What is Sexual Harassment?
According the Supreme Court order, sexual harassment is any unwelcome:
Physical contact and advances
Demand or request for sexual favors
Sexually colored 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.
Denial of payment or official approval in the absence of sexual favors
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.
Cell against Harassment and Atrocities against Women
In keeping with the Supreme Court guidelines, the Management Council of the University of Pune through a resolution adopted on 10th July 2001 established a Cell Against Harassment and Atrocities Against Women at the workplace.
Functions of the Cell
The office of the Cell is an educational resource as well as a complaint centre for the members of the faculty, staff and students of the University. Its mandate is
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 our 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 these goals through:
Dissemination of Information – through production, distribution and circulation of printed materials, posters and handouts
Awareness Workshops – about sexual harassment for faculty, non-teaching staff and students. The aim is to develop nonthreatening and non-intimidating atmosphere of mutual learning.
Counselling – Confidential counselling 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 and is a sensitive issue.
Functioning of the Cell: The Complaint Mechanism
Procedure to file/report a complaint:
The complainant will have to submit a written and signed complaint addressed to the Secretary of the Cell.
The counsellor 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.