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RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow, has directed the women officials to not to work after 6 pm. The reason being that university is situated on the outskirts of the city and prone to security hazards. He also emphasized that the rule must be strictly followed, unless there is a specific reason or an emergency, for which a prior approval is required. Post permission, appropriate security arrangements will be made for such staff members.
While this decision can be viewed as a step to ensure workplace safety for female employees, it has instead drawn criticism. Apparently, the directive does not include female students and teachers. The women officials have raised this issue and demanded why their peers have been left out of the safety measure.
A few protesters have proclaimed that it will further curtail efforts towards empowering women and worry families about the safety of their daughters. Others have said that if the campus is unsafe, then it should be for everyone, including male employees.
The university spokesperson Govind Pandey has clarified the matter, saying that the decision was to curb incidents related to women's safety that had occurred in the past on the campus. He has also informed that departmental heads have been instructed to keep the authorities in the loop if any of the female students is required to work in the laboratory after 6 pm.
According to a report, sexual harassment cases within office premises doubled between 2014 and 2015, and have risen by 51% in other places related to work. So, women's safety at workplaces has become very crucial.
In the light of such cases, do you think Lucknow University’s order is justified? Or, could they have issued a more flexible policy after consulting its women employees as well as students?
If your organization has undertaken any safety initiatives for women, do share with us.
Picture Courtesy: htcampus.com