NIUA: Empowering Change Within—Champions Gender Inclusion and Workplace Safety

The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) commemorated International Women’s Day by conducting an extensive Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Training for its staff. This half-day session, in collaboration with UN Women and UNICEF, aimed to educate and empower NIUA employees.

Key highlights of the training included:­­

  1. Harassment Prevention: Equipping staff with tools to recognise and prevent harassment.
  2. Legal Awareness: Understanding the penal consequences of sexual harassment.
  3. Committee Roles: Creating awareness about the roles and responsibilities of the Internal Complaints Committee.
  4. Effective Protocols: Addressing harassment promptly and effectively.

To fortify its ongoing commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive work environment for women, NIUA has also formalised an Internal Complaints Committee in compliance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013. This committee aims to ensure that NIUA’s workplace remains secure and free from any form of sexual harassment and recognise the valuable contributions of women staff to India’s urban development story, emphasising the need for women’s safety to empower them under this year’s International Women’s Day theme “Count Her In: Invest in Women”.

Speaking on the occasion, NIUA Director (Additional Charge) Dr. Debolina Kundu stated, “As we commemorate International Women’s Day, let’s reaffirm our commitment to gender-responsive urban development. Through evidence-based research and policy initiatives, let’s work towards creating cities that prioritise the needs and experiences of women, fostering inclusive and resilient communities.”

UN Women Deputy Country Representative, Ms. Kanta Singh reaffirmed “NIUA’s commitment to cultivating a safe and inclusive workspace aligns with UN Women’s mission. By preventing sexual harassment and formalising an Internal Complaints Committee, NIUA ensures a workplace where women can thrive. When women feel safe, they can fully contribute to India’s urban development, unlocking their full economic potential.”

NIUA’s commitment to gender inclusivity is reflected in both policy and practice, emphasising employee well-being and professional growth. This gender diversity is not only reflected in the organisational structure but is also embedded in the policies and practices of the institution.

Women occupy nearly 50% of senior and lead positions at NIUA, showcasing a commitment to fostering women’s leadership. NIUA’s Human Resources policy aligns with the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, providing Maternity Leave (ML) benefits. Male employees are entitled to 15 days of Paternity Leave (PL) under the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972. NIUA also offers flexible work arrangements, in exceptional circumstances. As an equal opportunity employer, NIUA’s Professional Code of Conduct stipulates that all employees are expected to act fairly and not discriminate against anyone, particularly with the marginalised and vulnerable sections of society.

Furthermore, NIUA has implemented various other initiatives to fortify its position as a safe and inclusive workplace for women with practices such as installing Sanitary Napkin Vending Machines in the office.

About NIUA

NIUA, remains steadfast in supporting the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, particularly in strengthening evidence-based planning through rigorous research and capacity-building initiatives to foster inclusive development. By actively collaborating with Indian cities, NIUA is committed to spearheading gender-mainstreaming efforts to boost urban productivity and uplift every resident’s overall quality of life.

About UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. It works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes, and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide.


UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere. Across more than 190 countries and territories, UNICEF does whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

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