Sat, 12 Jan 2013 19:30:00 GMT | By IANS

'Pending anti-sexual harassment bill is useless'

Demands of amending the anti-rape laws has been strong after a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16

'Pending anti-sexual harassment bill is useless' (© AFP)

New Delhi: While the government has assured a stronger anti-rape law, activists say a bill against sexual harassment at the workplace that has been passed by the Lok Sabha but is yet to be brought before the Rajya Sabha is "useless".

In a discussion at Indian Women Press Corps here, women activists also said they had little hope that government will make the laws stronger in real terms. "We do not accept the present draft bill. It has a lot missing," Indu Agnihotri, director, Centre for Women and Development Studies said. The activists said among the shortcomings of the bill, the main was making the sexual assault gender-neutral.

"Making the law gender neutral will go against the women. It means a woman can be booked for raping a man," Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research added. The activist also said they were apprehensive if any substantial changes will be made in the law.

"Even the Justice Verma committee is only to give recommendation for stricter punishment. We have made 
comprehensive suggestions to the committee but it is not necessary it will make a difference," women's rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer Kirti Singh said.

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