Free Press Journal

Probe against UN Women’s gender equality champ over


Ravi Karkara to face action for sexual misconduct

United Nations : An investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against an Indian national employed in the UN agency for gender equality and women empowerment has been completed and steps have been taken to initiate “appropriate action” against him. While the Office of Audit and Investigation of UNDP did not identify the Indian national, sexual misconduct allegations were levelled last month against Ravi Karkara, senior adviser on Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy to the assistant secretary general and deputy executive director at UN Women.

UN Women, in a statement dated August 24, said its executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has “taken immediate steps to initiate appropriate action.

“She is committed to ensuring that UN Women focusses on a survivor-centred approach in concluding this matter as quickly as possible,” the statement said.

It added the executive director appointed earlier this year Purna Sen as executive coordinator on sexual harassment to engage with survivors so that they are supported in a range of areas.

“While accountability is indispensable, UN Women stands ready to support victims through counselling, psychosocial support and legal assistance,” the UN Women statement said.

Sen had told PTI earlier that zero tolerance to sexual exploitation and abuse must be strictly followed and practiced and that those who show the courage to speak out against abuses should not feel judged.

She added the UN agency wants to change the dynamics and culture in which men and women feel that their position of seniority and authority entitles them sexually to other more junior staff, interns and young people.

The UN Women statement did not give details about the nature of “appropriate action” being taken.

According to the agency’s legal policy, disciplinary and non-disciplinary proceedings like written censure, loss of steps in grade, dismissal can be imposed.