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1.Training Workshop

Topic: Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace

Date: 12th August 2011, Friday

WSC organized a training workshop on “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace” (SHAWP) on 12th August 2011 at ILS Law College. Dr. Sanjay Jain, Shri. Shrikant Malegaonkar, Smt. Vinita Palkar were the resource persons. Dr Sanjay Jain shared information and his views about connection between Gender and Sexual Violence. He narrated in brief the Supreme Court judgment in Visakha’s case.

Smt. Vinita Palkar explained various facts and myths about sexual harassment of women particularly about SHAWP. She expressed the need for legislation to curb this evil. Shri. Malegaonkar, a practising lawyer, who has experience in training management persons on this issue, explained the procedures to be followed by the complaints committee, role of the employer and employees. Each session was followed by a discussion. The training was very fruitful as it updated the participants on the functioning of Vishaka Committees and the disciplinary action that has to be taken by the Management.

2. State Level Consultation

Topic: Right to Abortion, Sex Selection and Eugenics

Date: 28th Nov 2011, Monday

WSC organized a State level consultation on “Right to Abortion, Sex Selection and Eugenics” on 12th August 2011 at ILS Law College. The reasons for organizing this consultation was to discuss the declining sex ratio and the role of law, bringing in the complexities of the issue of right to abortion and opposition to sex selective abortion, as well as the legal sanction to abortion on the basis of disability of the fetus. Students, academicians, researchers, activists, medical practitioners, lawyers and representatives from educational institutions and NGOs participated in the consultation.

Manisha Gupte, founder – MASUM, in her key note address shared the socio-cultural aspects of the declining sex ratio. She shared her experiences of the campaign against sex selection that was initiated during nineteen eighties. She also shared her experiences of filing Public Interest Litigation along with CEHAT in the Supreme Court for effective implementation of the Pre Natal Diagnostic Act. Manisha very forcefully brought out the various dimensions of the problem and complexities involved in the issues. Her address was very well received and it laid a path way for discussion during the entire day.

Ms Archana More gave the feminist perspective of right to abortion.
Prof. Ilina Sen, Director – Women’s Studies Center, Wardha Unviersity shared the demographic aspects of the sex selective abortion. She also brought in the complexities of the issue and discussed the international perspectives.

Dr. Charulata Bapaye, M.D. (Gynecology) gave the medical perspective of abortion. She also answered many questions which were particularly raised by the students. Dr Anjali Radkar, Associate Professor from Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics shared the demographic aspects and social impact of sex selective abortion.

Dr Soumitra Pathare, psychiatrist and disability rights activist, emphatically said that sex selection is a practice of eugenics. The medical practitioners owe the responsibility of it. He also pointed out that the provision in PCPNDT allowing abortion on the ground of eugenics is contrary to the Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities that India has ratified and a clear violation of human right of people with disabilities.
Ms Vidya Bal, Ms Leni Choudhury, Dr Sanjay Jain, Ms Vrushali Magdum, Dr. Jaya Sagade, contributed substantially to the deliberations.