Soniya reports to Rahul. Rahul and Soniya are currently working together on a presentation. He constantly calls Soniya at odd hours and often suggests that they should go out somewhere after work hours, for a late-night movie or dinner. Even though Soniya is uncomfortable she smiles and shrugs it off. On the day of the presentation, Rahul told Soniya that if she doesn’t go out with him, he will deny her involvement in the project. Even though he smiled when he said it, Soniya is quite worried, this will squash her chances of getting a promotion.
“Quid Pro Quo” is a Latin phrase that literally means “this for that”. In the The Sexual Harassment of Women (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, this term is used to define a kind of sexual harassment where an exchange takes place with “sexually coloured actions” used as the means to end of the bargain.
In the Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment, the situation often arises where the harasser is in a position of authority, for eg the harasser could be a supervisor/manager. The harasser used the power he has over the employee to initiate the bargaining process. Like promising a job benefit or removal of a job privilege as part of the exchange.
For example, A manager promises to write a good review for an employee’s increment if she agrees to go out with him on a weekend to a party, in return. Here the manager makes an aspect of the job contingent upon the employee performing a specific act.
According to The Sexual Harassment of Women (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 Quid Pro Quo type of sexual harassment can be defined as sexual harassment which takes any form of physical advance/contact or demanding of sexual favours. This kind of sexual harassment refers to giving something in return for something else.
Under the law, it’s often seen in ways of seeking sexual favours in return for promises of better work conditions or better employment benefits, or with the threat of negative consequences.
About the Author and Serein
Faakirah Junaid Rafiquee is a lawyer and content designer. She is an experienced head of operations skilled in research, policy analysis, human rights, mental health, women rights, workshop moderation and document drafting. She is a strong operations professional with a Bachelor of Law focused in women rights and policy analysis. She has facilitated and designed workshops on issues like feminism, prevention of mental health, and childhood sexual abuse. She also has developed courses, modules and programmes on the same issues. Faakirah writes on women’s and mental health issues.
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