Evaluating the effectiveness of the UGC sexual harassment policies: A Systematic Review
Keywords:Sexual Harassment, Gender Sensitisation programmes, POSH policies, University Grants Commission, Higher Educational Institution, Internal Complaints Committee
Incidents of sexual harassment in universities is a growing global concern. In efforts to make educational campuses a safe space for students, universities have developed and implemented various anti-sexual harassment (ASH) programmes. However, it is imperative to validate the appropriateness of such policies in order to identify gaps and better develop the ASH programmes and the redressal mechanism employed by universities. This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the sexual harassment policies made by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in India, which is implemented in approximately 967 higher educational institutions in India. Two documents, the University Grants Commission (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of sexual harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutions) Regulation 2015 and the Saksham Report (Measures for ensuring the safety of Women and Programmes for Gender Sensitization on Campuses) 2013 released by UGC are systematically reviewed using the Sadler effectiveness triangle that breaks down the policy to its Procedural, Transcriptive and Substantive Value in order to evaluate the policy principles, the policy measures and the implementation of these measures. The paper aims to highlight the gaps in the policy, the key findings were: Absence of consent education in gender sensitisation programmes to tackle sexual harassment that occurs due to self-discovery of students, the appointment and qualification of members of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) which is responsible for sexual harassment redressal in universities and lack of representation of sexual orientation minorities in both the gender programmes and ICC.
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