Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi on Monday said she is happy that #MeToo movement has started in India but also hopes that it does not go out of control.
However, she further told agencies that she hopes that the campaign won’t go out of control “in the sense that we target people who have offended us in some way. But, on the whole, I think women are responsible.”
Stressing on the fact that “anger at sexual molestation never goes away” and the individual “never forgets the person who did it,” Gandhi informed, “It is because of this reason, we have written to the law ministry, saying that the complaints should be without any time limit.”
The Union Minsiter then gave a message to all the women who have been subjected to some or the other form of harassment and said, “Please remember that you can now – as we have interpreted it – complain 10 years later, 15 years later, it doesn’t matter how much later. The point is, if you are going to complain, the avenue is still open.”
She then talked about the number of steps taken by her ministry to empower women to speak out.
“First, we launched ‘I am trolled’, which can be used by women to alert relevant government agents when they are threatened with physical violence on social media. Then, we also made sexual harassment committee mandatory in every company where there are more than 10 employees,” she said.
She added that the companies, in their financial return, will have to reveal if they have started with the committee or not.
“We also launched a comprehensive SHe-Box online complaint Management System for women working in both public and private organisations to lodge complaints of sexual harassment at workplace,” Gandhi concluded.
The #MeToo movement began a year ago in Hollywood after The New York Times and The New Yorker published several stories about decades-long predation of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
The movement is now gaining momentum in India as well, with accusations being levelled against some powerful personalities in media and the entertainment industry.