Amid the #MeToo movement gaining momentum in India, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Thursday urged all recognised political parties to form internal committees immediately to look into sexual harassment complaints.
Ms Gandhi said she had written to six national parties and 59 regional parties to form internal complaints committee against sexual harassment and post information on their websites.
"We are trying to get to every single form of harassment being experienced by women at workplace," Ms Gandhi told news agency PTI.
"I have written to chiefs of political parties to form Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), which should have already been there under the law. When we are asking every organisation to have an internal complaints committee, why should we exempt political parties from it," Ms Gandhi added.
Section 4 of the Sexual Harassment at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act mandates every organisation which employs women to constitute an internal complaints committee which is to be headed by a senior women employee.
Ms Gandhi had also written to Bollywood production houses to form an internal complaints committee. Seven production houses had complied.
Allegations of sexual harassment against prominent people in various fields have come to light amid India's #MeToo movement, which started with actor Tanushree Dutta accusing actor Nana Patekar of harassing her during the shooting of a film in 2008. Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar resigned on Wednesday evening after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.
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