March,11,2016: Did you know calling a woman ‘baby’ or ‘honey’ against her will can land you in jail? To inform youngsters about this and many other lesser-known aspects that can count as sexual harassment or violence against women, the Uttarakhand State Commission for Women is planning to hold special sensitisation camps in schools and colleges.
Chairperson of the Commission, Sarojini Kaintyura, said many women choose to ignore objectionable behaviour and suffer mental agony, but others didn’t know what counted as harassment or violence.
“We want the boys to know how (and how not) to behave with girls and the girls to realise when they (boys) are crossing the line,” Kaintyura said.
From April to December 2015, the commission received 1,118 complaints from women, a large chunk of which were harassment cases.
Officials said seemingly ‘innocuous’ acts like calling a woman names, making repeated offensive remarks, comments or jokes, displaying sexist or other offensive pictures or messages, and rumour-mongering about a woman’s private life, all fell under harassment.
Kaintyura said that the camps will offer information about various pieces of legislation related to women.
“For instance, for making an indecent body language and lewd comment, a man can get a one-year jail term under Section 509 of the IPC,” she said. HT
Likewise in an attempt to prevent racial discrimination against people from the North East, the Ministry of Home Affairs has earlier asked all the states and union territories to book anyone who commits an act of atrocity against people from the region under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Cyberspace has been debating the pros and cons of this law, and while some people think a rule like this was long due, some feel that five years in jail is a little extreme. We asked people from the North East residing in Delhi if they think that people should be jailed from calling them ‘chinki’. Now is the time to watch your tongue before you stereotype someone.
Indian Penal Code,1860-
Section 509. Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman
Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, of that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, 1[shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and also with fine.]
CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Simple imprisonment for 1 year, or fine, or both—Cognizable—Bailable—Triable by any Magistrate—Compoundable by the woman whom it was intended to insult or whose privacy was intruded upon with the permission of the court. – 1. Inserted by Section 509 of ‘The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013′