All India Democratic Women's Association

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ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF SPORTSWOMEN

2nd August 2010

A 4 member delegation led by AIDWA General Secretary Sudha Sundararaman met the Sports Minister Shri M S Gill on 2nd Aug. 2010 to submit a memorandum requesting intervention on the recent incidents of sexual harassment brought to light by some sportswomen. The delegation included T N Seema (MP, Rajya Sabha, ,Jagmati Sangwan (Winner of National Bheema Award for Sports)and Ashalata (Asst. Secretary AIDWA). The Minister held an active discussion with the delegation, highlighting the complexities involved in taking legal action in such cases, and focusing on some of the constructive, and concrete steps that could be taken to address the problem. A three point action strategy emerged on the basis of the discussion. The Minister assured that, on the basis of the findings made by the committee set up by the Ministry to enquire into the current complaints of sexual harassment, firm legal action would be taken. The Ministry would also communicate to the State governments the need to immediately set up Sexual Harassment Committees in the Sports Councils and other sports institutions as per the Visakha Guidelines. The Minister also responded positively to the suggestion for a larger consultation between sportspersons, women’s organizations, and the Ministry, which could help in evolving a more gender sensitive sports policy.