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Whoever faces sexual harassment at work should report it immediately, says Kirron Kher

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Weighing in on #MeToo, BJP MP Kirron Kher said sexual harassment was a result of society’s patriarchal mindset.

Mumbai: Actor-politician Kirron Kher Saturday called for implementation of the Vishaka guidelines in every organisation in the country to keep a check on the menace of workplace sexual harassment.

Commenting on the #MeToo movement in India, the veteran actor and Chandigarh BJP MP said sexual harassment is a result of patriarchal mindset of the society which teaches men that they have an authority over women.

“There are Vishaka guidelines and these should be there in every organisation. And whoever faces such things they should report immediately. If you are not following the guidelines then you are making a mistake.

“This is happening because of the mindset. Why are women or children being raped… Why honour killings are happening… It is the same sense of mindset that feels power over women and disrespect for women,” Kher said at a media interaction for the show “India’s Got Talent”.

“I think you should raise your voice soon. Every institution should have Vishaka guidelines in place as there are laws against such things. If you do not enforce it then you are making a mistake. What is the point of a no movement on social media. The matters should be investigated and the Vishaka guidelines are necessary for this to happen.

“What happened in case of Tarun Tejpal? The Vishaka guidelines were not implemented. So it is necessary to have these guidelines as people will know their limits,” she said.

Kher was also asked about cabinet minister M J Akbar, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.

“The government has made a committee. Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has announced that committee has retired judges on board. Everywhere there are allegations and I am sure the matter will be investigated and both sides will be allowed to put their point of view across,” she said.

“Mr Akbar is not in India at the moment and I am sure when he comes back, you will get the answers. I am not in the cabinet and so I am not privy to what is happening. When this whole thing broke, I saw it on TV. I am sure they will look into it,” she added.

When quizzed about the allegations against filmmaker Sajid Khan, Kher said though she believes the four women accusers, she would refrain from commenting on it.

“I have known him for many years. And nothing has happened with me so I cannot say anything on it. How much of all this is true or not that only Sajid or the women who have put allegations on him can tell,” she said.

“I don’t think it is right for me to comment on what is put on social media about somebody as I have not seen it with my eyes or experienced it. Still the women must have a say, I respect the girls, I wish they had said it when this was happening,” she added.

Sajid has been accused of sexual harassment by three female actors and a journalist, and has since stepped down as the director of “Housefull 4”, which also stars Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol. –PTI

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