Lawmakers discuss sexual harassment bill
Added At: 2012-04-17 11:36 PM
Last Updated At: 2012-04-17 11:36 PM
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Lawmakers from various parties represented at the Legislation Committee of the Parliament today stressed on the need to define sexual harassment comprehensively as the panel began discussing a three-year-old bill.
Sexual Harassment Bill 2066 proposes that those found guilty of sexually harassing others be fined upto Rs 25,000 or sent to jail for three months or both.
“The constitution and international laws, to which Nepal is a party, obliges the government to ensure safe working environment,” said CPN-UML lawmaker Sapana Pradhan Malla, also a rights activist. She said a first redressal mechanism should be available at the work place itself. Another UML lawmaker Agni Kharel stressed on the need to effectively implement the provisions of the bill, once it becomes an Act.
The bill states that touching somebody inappropriately, making obscene gesture, using obscene materials or staring will amount to sexual harassment. Lawmakers also said that in today’s context, any act of sexual harassment committed through the Internet and mobile phones should also come under the purview of the law.
The committee is to conduct clause by clause discussions on the bill from tomorrow. Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare Dan Bahadur Chaudhari was also present at the meeting. Ministry Secretary Balananda Paudel said the bill proposes punishment not only to male wrongdoers but also to female ones.