Myth and Reality: Sexual Harassment Committees in Bollywood Studios

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Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, instructed Bollywood Studios to set up committees to hear complaints under the act of  Sexual Harassment at Workplace 2013. Sexual harassment of woman at workplace act 2013 seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their working place. At any workplace with more than 10 employees need to implement this law but many of the Indian Studios despite the legal requirement have not implemented the law. According to the law, a company should must set up an Internal Complaints Committee of at least three people but the committee should be headed by a woman and a third party member and should be attach to an NGO to conduct regular workshops to sensitize employees. If any employee is found to be violating the law, they will be punishable up to Rs. 50,000.

The 17 major Bollywood studios need to inquire whether they were following the instructions of the ministry or not. Among 17 of them, only five studios have anti-sexual harassment cells and other five shared specific information while two studios are declined to reveal about their people of heading committees. But the rest did not responded to it, Union Minister for Women and Child Development filed an inquire order and HuffPost India and sent detailed questionarries to studios like Yash Raj Films, Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bhansali Productions to find out whether they were following the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act.