Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: The draft bill granting statutory powers to the Tamil Nadu State Women's Commission has been prepared, said P. Ramathal, Chairperson of the Commission.

Addressing a workshop on `sexual harassment in the workplace' recently, she said the Commission would offer all support to institutions forming Committees against Sexual Harassment as envisaged in the 1997 Supreme Court judgment on the issue.

"Poor implementation"

Other speakers at the inaugural session rued the fact that the judgment was the only legal recourse available to working women, while the guidelines it had set forth were poorly implemented.

Setting up Complaints Committees in all institutions, expressly prohibiting sexual harassment, and initiating disciplinary action against those found guilty of the offence are some of the guidelines.

Organised by the Tamil Nadu Women's Network, the workshop brought together non-governmental organisations, members of the Network, from across the State to discuss the findings from similar workshops organised in other districts.

The Draft Bill, initially presented by the National Women's Commission, and the revised version incorporating suggestions from various sections was yet to be introduced for discussion, said Bimla Chandrasekar from the Network.

Speakers also pointed out that legal measures would not serve their full purpose unless accompanied by social change.