On Monday, Lok Sabha had passed the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2010, drafted by Krishna Tirath, minister of women and child development without discussion despite uproar from BJP members.
Right groups raised concerns about passing of the Bill without consulting male representatives.
“There are times when we find that there is unwanted feminine attention which is overwhelming and discomforting. Further worse, pervert social mindsets force male victims to keep quiet,” said Atit, president of Men’s Rights Association, a rights group.
Swarup Sarkar, member of a rights group pointed out that based on presentations made by men’s rights organisations, the parliamentary standing committee on human resources development had also recommended that the law should be made gender-neutral and men should also be provided equal protection.
“We fail to understand the problem in making the law gender-neutral, for, if women do not harass men, then there would be no complaints filed against them,” he said.
Activists alleged that even they face harassment in the form of lewd remarks about their dressing sense and bold comments about their physical appearance among others.
“When we filed an RTI to inquire about the WCD ministry’s stand on this issue, the ministry replied by saying ‘protection of men is not our mandate’,” added Sarkar.
The male population also fears society’s rejection towards their complaints about harassment. They are demanding that the present draft Bill must be re-drafted by the ministry of law and the government should form a national commission for men. In addition to that, a ministry of men welfare as well.
However, women groups argue that till women-centric laws are not implemented properly, gender inequalities will persist.