Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi (Express File Photo by Prem Nath Pandey)
Even as the #MeToo movement continues to intensify across the country, Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi Friday said her ministry will constitute a four-member committee of retired judges to conduct public hearings of sexual harassment cases emanating from the campaign.
She said the proposed committee with senior judicial and legal persons as members will look into all issues emanating from the #MeToo campaign.
“I believe in all of them. I believe in the pain and trauma behind every single complainant. I am proposing to set up a committee with senior judicial and legal persons as members to look into all issues emanating from the #MeToo campaign,” Gandhi was quoted as saying by PTI.
The panel will look into the legal and institutional framework which is in place for handling complaints of sexual harassment and advise the ministry on how to strengthen these frameworks, she said.
The #MeToo movement has gathered steam over the last fortnight with scores of women speaking out on sexual harassment at the workplace and support pouring in from various quarters.
The campaign also hit the BJP-central government, with at least seven women journalists coming on record to accuse Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour when he worked as a newspaper editor. Akbar has not responded to any of the allegations yet.
He is the first political public figure to feature in the growing list of men — so far largely from the media, film and entertainment — named in India’s own #MeToo movement.