The sexual harassment or sexual assault faced by a woman either verbally or physically or by the way of physically vulgar gestures is known as ‘eve-teasing’. Disrespectful or vulgar comments passed to a woman or adverse remarks passed to a woman in a public place are a part of eve teasing. A pubic place can be anywhere including malls, streets, markets, public Transporation etc. The problem of eve-teasing increased in the 1970s and more attention was drawn towards it. In the developing times, even after the empowerment of women has become large at life, women are still suffering. The problem of eve- teasing grew at an alarming rate during the developing society. Women in the 21st century still feel the fear to go out alone at night because of the fear of getting teased. Every woman in her life time has faced eve-teasing once in her lifetime in the way of name calling, following, disrespectful comments etc. The Indian cinema has promoted eve-teasing and encouraged this practice by producing and making vulgar songs and movies.

The Government, in the recent age, felt the need to take remedial measures which include both judicial as well as law enforcement methods in order to curb this practice. There were various efforts made by the police regarding this problem. Women’s dignity is protected by different laws in India. Section 294 and Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code deals with the protection of the dignity of a woman. According to Section 294 of the IPC, obscene acts committed in public or obscene words spoken in public are punishable in the eyes of law. Section 294 has stated that anyone who omits any obscene acts in public places or sings or recites or utters any obscene word in a public place or even a place in proximity to a public place will be considered as an offence under section 294 of the IPC.
Under Section 509 of IPC, a person who expresses words, gestures, and acts with an intention to hurt the modesty of women will be punishable under this Section. The Section states that any person who intends to insult women’s modesty by way of words, gestures, sounds or any other way will be intruding her privacy and same will be punishable with an imprisonment up to 1 year or fine. The severity of the punishment will depend on the offence. Under Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, a fine of Rs. 2000 and an imprisonment of 2 years will be imposed if a man shows any pornographic or obscene pictures, books or papers to a woman or a girl. After the Nirbhaya case, the Criminal Amendment Bill, 2013 was passed. It introduced 354A that deals with offences like disrobing women without her consent, stalking or any other types or sexual offence by a person.
The Act also made acid attack a specific offence which is punishable with imprisonment for not less than 10 years and can extent to life imprisonment as well with fine. The act of eve-teasing is considered immoral because the privacy of a person is violated under this crime. The Right to privacy is protected under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and eve-teasing the violation of fundamental rights in this way. Following can be the main causes for eve-teasing –

  1. Objectification of women.
  2. Pornography.
  3. Free and widespread content available on interest as well on other platforms.
  4. Due to less awareness regarding thru laws.
  5. Lack of positive attitudes towards women.

The complaint regarding eve-teasing can be filed to any nearest police station or nearest women’s police station or public grievance cell at the commissioner of police’s office.