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Being sexually harassed at work in India is more common than we perceive it to be. This video puts things within perspective.
Half of the total crimes against women in India happen at the workplace and it is alarming to note here that 70 % of these cases go unreported. For many it is a regular phenomenon and yes it could happen to any of us.
From journalists to Supreme Court interns to a very recent anonymous post by an ‘Indian Fowler’ alleging that she was sexually harassed at work by Arunabh Kumar, Founder of viral video makers, TVF, sexual harassment at the workplace is a huge issue and slowly becoming a menace that needs to be addressed on a war footing.
It is appalling to see that despite the rising numbers of women who are sexually harassed at work, women are still finding it hard to raise it with their employers and bringing their tormentors to task. In fact more often than not their claims are either dismissed as “Duniya hai. Hota hai” by the management and if persisted they are asked to leave. Employers are either unaware of the law’s provisions or have implemented them partially or have set up internal panels that have poorly trained staff. On top of this, little gender parity in organisations even today is another glaring factor responsible for the lack of redressal of for women who are sexually harassed at work. Countless such cases are reported by women; high profile ones get media attention, but seldom do they see the light of day.
But having said that, keeping quiet is not an option. If women want the ongoing harassment to stop then they need to speak up and take charge. There are laws which are in place to address this menace. The very recent Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, is one of the most comprehensive laws against this baleful, often traumatizing harassment. This Act not only defines what constitutes sexual harassment at the workplace, but also spells out specific guidelines to tackle it. While carrying forward the requirement of internal complaints committees ( ICCs) at workplaces to handle complaints, as mentioned in the Visakha Guidelines, the SHW Act seeks to penalize employers who ignore the law.
This video by Bombay Diaries is a reminder to all women who are sexually harassed at work to take a stand. Because taking a stand is the only way to ensure that the harassment stops and the perpetrator is punished. Speaking up also helps in putting the onus back on the employer who failed to intercede and stop the harassment.
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