The Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has urged the staff of various airlines, both public and private, to remain sensitive to the dignity of women colleagues. She was reviewing the progress of cases of sexual harassment in Air India and Air India Express in New Delhi yesterday. The officials of DoPT, Ministry of Civil Aviation and WCD Ministry were also present at the meeting. CMD, Air India informed that there are 12 ongoing cases before different ICCs. It was also pointed out that there are a number of cases forwarded by WCD Ministry pertaining to Private Airlines to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
After reviewing the cases and the progress of work done by the ICCs, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi stated that along with the cases of sexual harassment, some women employees tend to file complaints of administrative nature in the garb of sexual harassment. It is important for the ICC to very quickly dispose off these cases. This will enable the woman, if she has a genuine grievance, to explore proper administration/legal mechanisms for redressal. It will also enable the ICCs to focus on the actual cases. The WCD Minister also pointed out that DoPT, in their instructions, have provided a number of immediate relief measures in cases of sexual harassment which the ICCs must grant to the complainant if she so requires.
Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi further stated that the aviation sector has expanded and has become more inclusive in its workforce as well as accessible to the middle class. It is no longer an exclusive sector perceived to be meant for upper class people as was the case during the 70s and 80s. With such inclusive workforce as well as the passengers, it is important that the male employees in the sector, especially the pilots, to be extra sensitive to the perceptions about women colleagues. The Minister requested the CMD, Air India to sensitize the male employees so that the women employees do not feel threatened/insecure in any manner. She also requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to suitably direct the Private Airlines along the same lines.