The University Grants Commission has notified India’s first gender-neutral Regulations relating to Sexual harassment. New UGC regulations on Sexual harassment prevention and prohibition which was notified last month, has made sexual harassment a gender neutral affair and now male students and students of the third gender in universities can also lodge complaints against sexual harassment faced by them.
The UGC (Prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutions) notified recently says that it is the responsibility of Higher Educational Institutions to ‘act decisively against all gender based violence perpetrated against employees and students of all sexes recognising that primarily women employees and students and some male students and students of the third gender are vulnerable to many forms of sexual harassment and humiliation and exploitation’
Earlier in a report published by University viz. SAKSHAM Report (Measures for Ensuring the Safety of Women and Programmes for Gender Sensitization on Campuses) it was said “The Sexual Harassment Act only addresses the issue of protection of women employees and is not gender neutral. Male employees, if subjected to sexual harassment, cannot claim protection or relief under the law. However, many guidelines against sexual harassment in universities have taken the next step to becoming gender plural. They recognise that men can be subjected to sexual harassment beyond ragging incidents, especially if they are identified as belonging to a sexual minority. Such cases also require all the efforts of educational, corrective and if necessary punitive responses through proper procedures.”
Regulations also describe the procedure to file complaints. An aggrieved person is required to submit a written complaint to the Internal Complaints Committee within three months from the date of the incident and in case of a series of incidents within a period of three months from the date of the last incident. Friends, relatives, Colleagues, Co-students, Psychologist, or any other associate of the victim may file the complaint in situations where the aggrieved person is unable to make a complaint on account of physical or mental in capacity or death.
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