Tamil Nadu

Domestic violence, harassment at work top complaints before panel

The failure of the police and the administration to address their grievances is the reason why women approach the Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women (TNSCW), according to its members.

“People approach the commission either because they do not know where else to go in their respective districts or are denied the right kind of help by authorities including the police,” said Kannagi Packianathan, IAS, Chairperson of the commission.

Domestic violence, property disputes and sexual harassment at the workplace account for most of the complaints received by TNSCW received over the last six months.

Data from the commission reveals that of the 813 petitions, 125 concerned domestic violence, 60 cited property disputes, 55 were against sexual harassment at the workplace, 49 were to do with dowry harassment and 47 mentioned the police’s unwillingness to solve matters.

“A lot of women have alleged that a few police officers colluded with their husbands and harassed them and their families. They insisted that they file for divorce. They have cited instances in which officers were also unwilling to conduct a thorough enquiry,” she said.

Members said that the prevalence of sexual harassment at the workplace continued to be one of the principal concerns for a large number of women, many of whom were not ready to come forward and complain.

“Many women still think that it’s normal for male superiors or colleagues to pass personal, uncomfortable remarks in office and mistreat them. It is not. We have had cases where women have been denied promotions after they raised complaints against seniors,” said a member.

Women being denied equal right to property is also another major issue the commission has had to deal with.

The TNSCW has so far forwarded 768 petitions to the respective district authorities and closed 16 cases.

“But many a time our instructions are dodged by people, and we have to follow up on the cases longer,” said Ms. Packianathan.

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Printable version | Oct 14, 2021 11:55:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/domestic-violence-harassment-at-work-top-complaints-before-panel/article24618405.ece

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