“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
The recent case where an employee of Tehelka magazine has filed a complaint against her editor-in-chief has brought up the much ignored issue of women safety at work place.
For the first time, India’s attention was drawn towards the need for measures to check the evil of sexual harassment of women at workplace, after the brutal gang rape of Bhanwari Devi, a social worker. The Supreme Court then issued directions (in Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan & others) in this regard. In this judgement, guidelines were to ensure proper interpretation of the guarantee of gender equality, right to work with human dignity guaranteed in Articles 14, 15, 19(1)(g) and 21 of our Constitution.
Sexual harassment is any kind of behaviour, of a sexual nature, that is not appropriate at work place. This includes ogling, objectionable gestures, lewd jokes, showing offending pictures or visuals, interfering in one’s private space, personal comments on one’s appearance or life, stalking, personal comments on one’s marital status or private life.
All around us, harassment goes on at various stages. A very few cases are highlighted by the media. Rest all are kept covered inside those 4 walls of big-small offices. Many women employees do not get much deserved opportunities just because they could not keep their bosses happy or they do not give in to their bosses’ advances.
Where is the equality? If a man get what he gets, just by his professional qualifications, why is a woman expected to do ‘something extra’ for what she deserves?
Each one of us needs to think about it. Why can’t we recognise women’s contribution to life around us?
If the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act 2013 is notified, it would mean setting up of an Internal Complaint Committee at every workplace with ten or more employees.
But why is it that we need a law-stick to control us every time? It’s genuinely high time; we reconsider our ways and respect women around us. In today’s time, women are doing everything earlier they did not at professional front. At time, we find women more efficient and qualified at work and probably this is the reason why men are not able to accept them and end up harassing and exploiting them. Instead, we must learn to co-operate with each other and try to put this emerging female energy and expertise to some constructive use for our overall growth.
Lets respect women at workplace as co-workers and grow mutually.