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Title: Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace : Socio-Legal Study Of The Organised Sector In Mumbai
Authors: Sarpotdar, Anagha
Keywords: Sexual Harrasment - Women - Workplace
The Supreme Court Vishakha Judgement
Safe Working Environment - Women
Asha Bajpai
School of Law Rights and Constitutional Governance
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: The Supreme Court Vishakha judgment (1997) initiated a discourse on sexual harassment at workplace in India. It was asserted rights of women to a safe working environment and issued guidelines for employers directing them to provide a safe and gender friendly working atmosphere for women. In house redress mechanism was proposed in form of complaints committee envisaging that it would resolve the issues related to sexual harassment within the organisation. However over the period of sixteen years it was observed that there was severe non compliance by employers to the guidelines. Need for present research therefore came from the poor implementation of the Supreme Court Vishakha guidelines (1997) and secondly from the gaps in the existing literature. Little was known when it came to employer response to reported complaints of sexual harassment, practices and procedures put in place by organisations to resolve complaints, functioning of complaints committees, experiences of women after they complained of sexual harassment and perceptions of the persons functioning as members of complaints committees. Objective of the research was to firstly understand nature of implementation of the Vishakha guidelines across work sectors through practices plus procedures followed by organisations to deal with reported cases of sexual harassment. Secondly the research aimed at gaining insight into the situations faced by women after they reported of complaints of sexual harassment at workplace and to understand the perceptions of about sexual harassment at workplace. The research accordingly aimed at bringing out new and context specific knowledge related to employer response to reported complaints of sexual harassment, issues related to the inquiry procedure as a resolution mechanism and perceptions about sexual harassment at workplace not only from the point of view of the complainants but other significant stakeholders. The study was based on the ontological assumption that the phenomenon of sexual harassment at workplace can be understood from lived experiences of persons. The epistemological assumption is that the knowledge of the phenomenon of sexual harassment could be obtained by delving into the social and legal aspects of sexual harassment of women at workplace. The research required bringing out lived experiences of individuals regarding social and legal aspects of sexual harassment at workplace. I therefore chose to adhere to qualitative approach to research, keeping in mind objectives of the research and to get a both closer and deeper understanding of the phenomenon. Within qualitative approach I found phenomenology as the best suited to gather descriptions of lived experiences of persons who either complained about or dealt with sexual harassment at workplace. Mumbai was chosen as the research setting being home to different kinds of organisations falling in the category of public, government, and private sectors. Purposive sampling was done, as the most important kind of non-probability sampling, to discover few participants based on their profile and objectives of the research. Further snowball sampling was used to expand the sample by asking one informant or participant to recommend others for interviewing. The challenge in locating and accessing participants for research reflected lack of uniformity in participant profiles. Twenty seven individuals employed in Mumbai were interviewed. These consisted of the women who reported sexual harassment to their employers, complaints committee members including chairpersons of the complaints committees, third party members of complaints committees, human resource managers, trade unions members, lawyers. Data collection was done by using single in-depth semi structured interviews. Attempt was made to gain insight into the experiences of persons who reported sexual harassment in terms of employer response to sexual harassment and their experiences of going through the inquiries. Secondly perceptions about sexual harassment of were sought. This helped the me to develop complex textual descriptions of the way both from two points of view i.e. firstly from the point of view of persons who complained of sexual harassment at workplace and secondly from the point of view of persons dealing with it. From the phenomenological point of view I attempted to not just describing, understanding and interpreting experiences of individuals who complained of sexual harassment and those who dealt with it in different capacities as parts but connected them together as a whole to form a holistic picture of entire phenomenon. Common meanings developed from experiences of the participants in the social and legal context of sexual harassment at workplace. These were represented through three key themes namely Employer Response to Reported Complaints of Sexual Harassment, Inquiry as a Process and Perceptions about Sexual Harassment. Number of participants in each category interviewed was based on the principle of saturation i.e. no new themes were emerging from the data analysis.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D.

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01_title page.pdf144.99 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02_dedication.pdf216.5 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03_declaration.pdf81.33 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04_certificate.pdf82.53 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
05_contents.pdf161.31 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
06_acknowledgement.pdf165.43 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
07_abstract.pdf92.87 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
08_chapter 1.pdf233.35 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
09_chapter 2.pdf240.91 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
10_chapter 3.pdf238.79 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
11_chapter 4.pdf345.66 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
12_chapter 5.pdf222.13 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
13_chapter 6.pdf383.83 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
14_chapter 7.pdf393.97 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
15_chapter 8.pdf424.41 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
16_chapter 9.pdf302.24 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
17_chapter 10.pdf294.11 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
18_chapter 11.pdf243.78 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
19_chapter 12.pdf228.4 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
20_reference .pdf323.5 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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