The discussion around the rights of women in the
workplace and society at large has increased over the
past years. Women's right to express, grow,
contribute, feel safe, etc. at the workplace should be a
self-evident truth. They don't ask for special
privileges or treatment, all they ask for is equal
opportunities, equal encouragement, and
Things like maternity leaves shouldn't
be looked upon as a privilege, rather acknowledged
as their Birthright as they are giving birth to the next
generation. We belong to a society that has labeled
women to be the weaker sex, Indian working women
face difficult paths to make a place of their own in
Today, there are women achievers
in every field. The constitution of India has provided
positive discrimination for women, the Indian state
has passed several laws and implemented policies to
improve their condition. But, still, Indian women face
visible and invisible discriminations in their paths
like sexual harassment in the workplace, unsafe road,
a very big issue is thinking of the society, etc.
There are many cases in the last decades through
which we came to know that nowadays what kind of
difficulties women are facing in their workplaces.
Here is a case that is one of the significant cases
among the cases of women's safety as it paved the
way to the Vishaka guidelines.
In this case, Bhanwari
Devi was a Dalit government employee who was
engaged in spreading awareness about hygiene and
running campaigns against dowry and child
marriage. As part of her job, she is helping a young
girl who was forced to marry at a young age by her
parents. She tried to stop the marriage and carried
out a rally But she was not able to stop the marriage
To take revenge for the rallies, a
group of people attacked Bhanwari Devi when she
was walking along the road with her husband. She
was gang-raped by these men. After that, she filed a
criminal case of rape against these men. However,
she was not taken seriously by the policemen and
other law officers. The Rajasthan high court convicted
the five men of assault whose degree of punishment
is much lesser than the crime of rape.
of the Rajasthan high court gave rise to rallies and
protests by various women's safety organizations and
the general public. This forced the government and
the legal system to provide justice to Bhawani Devi.
That followed the case of
Vishaka v/s the state of
Rajasthan which results in the formation of Vishaka Guidelines.
The Vishaka guidelines
The Vishaka guidelines were a set of guidelines
related to protecting women in the workplace. These
were instituted by the supreme court of India in the
year 1997. Features of the Vishaka guidelines. The
main points of the guidelines issued by the Hon'ble.
Supreme Court of India are as follows:
- Definition of sexual harassment.
- Provide a safer working environment.
- Duty of the employer to file a complaint.
- Complaint redressal committee.
- Employer to assist the employee if she is sexually
- Duty of employer to spread awareness.
- The government has to widen the scope of this
These guidelines were instituted by the supreme
court of India to ensure the safety of women at
workplaces and lay down the guidelines for dealing
with the cases that are related to sexual harassment
at the workplace. The Bhanwari Devi case is the most
significant landmark case in the history of cases
involving sexual harassment of women. The
constitution of India is the supreme law of our
country and must be protected and respected in
The fundamental rights of equality
and personal liberty should be protected and the
citizens of our country should not be discriminated
against on any grounds. Hence, it is legal as well as a
moral duty to provide a safer work environment for
women to prosper. So, we all should respect the
constitution and all the authorities.
It is also not only
the responsibility of the judiciary but we also have
some responsibilities. As a society, we have to develop
our old and primitive thinking. It's the modern era
everyone has their rights that what they have to do or
what they don't have to do.