Tuesday, January 15, 2013

FEMALE SECURITY - A MATTER OF MAJOR CONCERN

The recent incidents in Delhi followed by the mass protests at India Gate and all across the nation have brought to light a major threat to safety and security of females in the country. The profession of Chartered Accountancy consists of a substantial number of female members and about 50% CA students are also female. It is therefore important for the profession to ensure that a safe, secure and congenial working atmosphere is available both within the profession and in the society. A detailed debate is necessary to evolve appropriate safety mechanism and precaution to ensure that female chartered accountants and female CA students who are either working late in the office or are working in night shift or those who are attending coaching classes (concluding between 8 pm to 10 p.m.) are not subjected to a such risk. It is very important for the society as a whole to change the male mentality, by not ignoring women harassment, eve teasing and indecent advancement or gestures against fair sex (females) and taking such issues head-on. The approach of judiciary, police and the entire system towards women safety and security has to be more pro-active and be sensitive with deft handling ensuring very swift action. The trial of all pending cases should be concluded in fast track mode and severe punishment be given to the accused so to provide a deterrent to all such criminals and their accomplices. It is very important that the eve teasers are treated like terrorists and entire society and social system need to react immediately against any assault or attempt against women decency.

The biggest threat to criminals will be social action and societal boycott.

In respect of female chartered accountants and female CA students, as a matter of practice, it is important to ensure that no females are required to stay late beyond office hours except in emergencies that too with written permission of the senior most partner of the firm or head of department. In all such cases where females are required to work late hours for professional or business reason, their safety and security will be the personal responsibility of such senior partner/head of the department and in case of any unforeseen incident, unless adequate safeguards are
put in place. The females need to speak out and also that the parents need to commit that they will not bear any insult or threat against women decency and any such attempt or potential threat may be reported to police as well as to appropriate resident welfare association/ NGO and trade associations, so that appropriate action can be initiated against the offenders and potential offenders. It is important to understand that all those who attempt any crime against women by their thought, misdeeds or actions are liable to be severely punished by the Almighty God. We also need to ensure that we are respectful to females at all levels and are sensitive to gender equality.

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