Women hesitant to report cases of sexual harassment

Published On: November 5, 2016 01:40 AM NPT By: Gyanu Sapkota

KATHMANDU, Nov 5: Cases of sexual harassment at workplaces are generally not registered despite the country having legal provisions to discourage harassment in public and private offices. 

The Sexual Harassment Prevention Act was formulated two years ago to protect women from harassment. The Act provisions a penalty up to Rs 50,000 and six months imprisonment or both for the offenders.

Sujata Shyakya (named changed), who works at a corporate house in Kathmandu, says they sometimes experience sexual harassment at office. But they hardly complain because of the fear of social stigma and insecurity of their job.  

“Only a couple of cases have been registered regarding sexual harassment at workplaces,” said Bhagwati Ghimire, chairperson of the National Women's Commission. “We have laws but they are yet to be fully implemented,” she added. 

 “Sexual harassment cases are sensitive cases. Women are not comfortable speaking about it considering its consequences,” said Joint-secretary Narayan Prasad Kaphle, spokesperson at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare.

“The cases of sexual harassment are higher in private organizations than in government organizations,” added Kaphle.

Rights of women have been protected by the constitution itself. The Civil Code and other acts provisions to protect the rights of women and to empower them. There are 14 laws and regulations related to the protection of women such as the Domestic Violence Act, the Human Trafficking Control Act, the Gender Equality Act among others. 

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