SHe Box (Sexual Harassment Electronic Box)

SHe Box (Sexual Harassment Electronic Box)


Recent news:

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has linked SHe-Box (Sexual Harassment Electronic Box), to all the Central Ministries, Departments and districts across all States/Union Territories.

What is SHe-Box?

  • SHe Box (Sexual Harassment Electronic Box)

    SHe-Box ((Sexual Harassment Electronic Box)) is an online complaint management system for registering complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace.
  • The complaint management system has been developed to ensure the effective implementation of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013.
  • Complaint will be directly sent to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the concerned Ministry/Department/PSU/Autonomous Body etc. having jurisdiction to inquire into the complaint.


What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome act or behaviour (whether express or implied), such as:-

  • Physical contact or advance
  • A demand or request for sexual favours
  • Making sexually coloured remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Any other physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment at workplace can take various forms. It can involve conduct such as:

  • unwelcome touching, hugging or kissing
  • staring or leering
  • suggestive comments or jokes
  • unwanted or persistent requests to go out
  • intrusive questions about another person’s private life or body
  • Deliberately brushing up against someone
  • insults or taunts of a sexual nature
  • sexually explicit pictures, posters, screen savers, emails, twitters, SMS or instant messages
  • accessing sexually explicit internet sites
  • inappropriate advances on social networking sites
  • behaviour which would also be an offence under the criminal law, such as physical assault indecent exposure sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.

Sexual harassment of workplace is of two kinds:

  1. Quid pro quo is a Latin term which literally means ‘this for that’. Quid pro quo sexual harassment means subjecting a woman to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature on account of the following:
    • To force the woman to agree with such conduct by promising/threatening her (explicitly or implicitly) preferential/detrimental treatment in her job. For example: if you agree to accompany me on a study tour, I will give you promotion or in case you refuse, I will transfer you other place.
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by the woman is used as the basis for deciding the future course of her job. For example: if you refuse to obey my demand, I will not renew your contract.
  2. Hostile work environment: Creation of a hostile, intimidating or an offensive work environment with the purpose of unreasonably interfering with woman’s work performance or subjecting woman to humiliating treatment likely to affect her health and safety.

What is Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)?

Every organization has to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) having following members

  • Chairperson – Women working at senior level in the organisation
  • 2 Members (at least) – Amongst employees committed to women issues, have legal knowledge or experience in social work
  • 1 Member – from NGO

If the organisation has workplaces located at different places or division or sub-division level, then ICC will be constituted at every workplace.

What is Local Complaints Committee (LCC)?

The State Government will notify the District Magistrate/Additional District Magistrate/ Collector/ Deputy Collector as District Officer in every district, who will constitute a Local Complaints Committee (LCC) so as to enable women in the unorganised sector or small establishments to work in an environment free of sexual harassment. The LCC will have following members:

  • Chairperson– Nominated from amongst the eminent women in the field of social work and committed to the cause of women
  • Member– Nominated from amongst the women working in the block, taluka or tehsil or ward or municipality in the district
  • 2 Members– Nominated from amongst such NGO/ associations/persons committed to the cause of women or familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, provided that:
    • At least one must be a woman
    • At least one must have a background of law or legal knowledge
  • Ex Officio member – The concerned officer dealing with social welfare or women and child development in the district.

Non constitution of Complaints Committee is punishable with a fine of Rs. 50,000/- and repeat offenders will be punished with cancellation/withdrawal of licence/registration required for carrying on business activities. The aggrieved can approach the court to complain about the same.

.What kind of punishment could be awarded under the Act?

  • As prescribed under the Service Rules
  • In case service rules do not exist
    • Disciplinary action including written apology, reprimand, warning, censure
    • withholding of promotion/ pay raise/ increment
    • Termination of employment
    • Undergo counselling
    • Community service
  • Deduction from salary for:
    • Mental Trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused
    • Medical expenses incurred
    • The loss of career opportunity
    • The income and financial status of respondent
  • If the amount is not paid it can be recovered as arrear of land revenue

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