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What throws out women from the work-force: The unseen curse of transfer-posting harassment at workplaces
The discussion is gigantic, yet unseen, due to the environment of jobs and their workplaces. Despite comprising a very high percentage of the total workforce, the requirements of a secure working situation for those working women in the informal and formal workforce remains insecure due to the transfer-posting system.

This is not only invisible in the discussion on the working environment but also fails to get the normal public notice. The harassment due to the frequency of transfer-posting of women employees in workplaces such as banks, teachings, IT sector, government offices, projects, hospitals, security and defence services etc. go unnoticed.

Nobody treats this menace as harassment. But this harassment is not only physical and emotional but it breaks and divides the families. They have to live alone, far away from their families. Women are, however, the sustenance of our society, families and civilization. Difficult to have legal recourses and fearing official humiliation and harassment, they just surrender to the might of the indignity of the system.

A study conducted by a reputed organization found that the women living alone are most vulnerable to workplace harassment and social harassment. Some of the important grounds stated by the women employees for not reporting or not taking any action against this type of harassment were in fear of losing jobs, absence of any competent and honest redressal mechanism, absence of any impartial complaints and grievance at the place of work, fear of getting targeted by the authorities.

This uninformed and unseen harassment and injustice, most likely, works as one of the big grounds for the dilapidated female workforce in our country. A large number of women employees either forego the promotions or quit the job due to the repressive transfer-posting system.

Service conditions in the banking sector are a very apt example of this type of harassment. This is reducing the number of working women. It depresses and dampens the strength and future of half of India's population to have a say to the economy and development.

There are many mechanisms to redress the sexual harassment, like the Vishaka Guidelines and followed by, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, which were positively ground-breaking steps in addressing the problem but there is none to stop the harassment due to the transfer-posting system. This is also a very malicious harassment.

This type of harassment can be seen in the government sector, in the private sector, organised and unorganised sectors. There is an urgent need to stop the transfer-postings of women employees, away from their families. Generally, there are many Internal Complaints Committees (ICC), but none works to redress this harassment of the Indian workforce to make it gender and families just.

This is the duty of the government to set up a 'Local Complaints Committee' under the Act to ensure that women employees are posted with their families and to investigate and redress complaints of harassment due to transfers.

But so far, however, the government has failed in this direction and posting women workers with their families. In a big country like India, there is an urgent need to address this issue. The first and primary work is to ensure an effective existence of LCCs in all the departments ensured with quick and efficient functioning.

For this principle, women officers, magistrates and NGOs must conduct surveys of different offices and types of work that women in their offices are involved in, and ensure the transfer at the place of their choice, so that they can work and live safe and secure. For diverse groups of employees, the duty of running LCCs should be given to honest female officers or women employee organizations.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development should start a movement to achieve this in a time bound approach. Radio and TV advertisements about the need and law should extensively publicise this issue to create an awareness and fear among the authorities. Just as announcements about ICCs are compulsory to be put up in workplaces, LCCs must also be advertised and publicised in all areas of female employment including offices, ministries, media and markets. It is the responsibility of the government and the authorities to ensure the protection and safety to the most vulnerable and needy.

If a woman employee is transferred and posted away from her family, it is not only her harassment but harassment of the entire family. This harassment at workplaces should be incorporated in all deliberations and discussions. If we want to do away with this official menace from our nation, we will have to deal with the origin of the issue, which is mostly in evidence. What nation has been discussing the issue of sexual harassment is just a lesser part of the other larger problems. With 1005 of the country's female workforce in all the sectors face this harassment. We should start to redress this issue for the welfare of the women employees, department and the families. The system should not break and divide the families.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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