Ladies Special


Eve Teasing & Beyond >> Sexual Harassment at Work


Sexual Harassment affects all women in some form or the other. Lewd remarks, touching, wolf-whistles, “looks” are part of any woman's life, so much so that it is dismissed as normal.

Working women are no exception. In fact, working women most commonly face the backlash, to women taking new roles, which belong to male domains especially in the organized sector. In the unorganized sector also it is widely prevalent. Studies have shown that sexual harassment is still endemic, often hidden, and present in all kinds of organisations. 40-60% working women face harassment at working places.

The problem

Revathi worked as Secretary to Ramanatham, the chairman of an export promotion council. He asked her to accompany him to the business centre of a five star hotel. At the business centre, he tried to sit too close to X and touch her and did not give up even after she protested. He also tried to molest her in the elevator.

Janaki did not reciprocate Vijay's love and avoided him. She began to receive crank calls from him and later from his friends/co-workers. She started feeling very uncomfortable in the presence of vijay and her colleagues and her participation in official/non official gathering gradually reduced. Her lack of participation is being noticed by her senior and her performance was getting affected.

Rithika working in an MNC avoids sexual advances from her manager. As a result she is given disproportionate amounts of work and is ultimately bypassed by her junior male colleague for promotion. When she protests, the boss blatantly tells her that “everything is in her hands only”

The problem

What an employer can/need to do

The best way to prevent sexual harassment is to adopt a comprehensive sexual harassment policy. The aim is to ensure that sexual harassment does not occur and, where it does occur, to ensure that adequate procedures are readily available to deal with the problem and prevent its recurrence.

What Steps Can women Employees Take To Prevent Sexual Harassment?

1. Keep records: Keep track of what happens in a journal or diary and keep any letters or notes or other documents you receive. Write down the dates, times, places, and an account of what happened. Write down the names of any witnesses.

2. Write a letter. People have successfully stopped sexual harassment by writing a letter detailing the behaviour that is offensive and asking the person who is harassing them to stop the behaviour. The letter should be polite, unemotional, and detailed. Such a letter seems to be more powerful than a verbal request. The recipient of the letter seldom writes back; the person usually just stops the behaviour.

3. Set your own boundaries: Say "NO" emphatically and clearly when you are asked to go places, do things, and respond to questions, or engage in situations that make you uncomfortable. Do not worry about offending the other person or hurting his or her ego. Take care of yourself first.

4. Be aware of situations and people who may harm you: Don't ignore other's warnings about particular people or social settings. Acknowledge their concern for you and for themselves.

5. Take a colleague or sympathetic senior into confidence so that you have reliable witness to stand up for you when it comes down to your word against his.

6. Don't confuse the company with the individual. Just because one person has made life miserable for you, it doesn't mean that the company is at fault.

7. If those in authority, act against him swiftly and firmly, then absolve them of blame and move on.

Want to Share Your Views with Us ? Click here
Maharashtra Police Passport Verification Status NMC Aaple Sarkar Nagpur Rural Police Fire Services Govt. Medical Hospital