November 21, 2013
In the January 2013 edition of Tehelka Weekly, managing editor Shoma Chaudhary severely condemned the absence of “harsh and swift punitive measures to puncture the idea of immunity” built up around the discourse of rape and sexual assault in the country. It was this very publication, which also severely condemned politicians, who made callous [...]
November 10, 2013
In times not very different from our own, there were three girls. ‘Good’ girls, all of them. They came from middle-class families. They dressed up ‘decently’ and had ‘respectable’ jobs. Almost as a routine practice, however, they were sexually harassed- on the street, on their way to work and even at work. Not surprisingly, their [...]
November 06, 2013
New Perspectives on Sexual Offenses in India: Examining Laws and Public Discourse Date and time: Monday, November 11, 2013; 6.30 pm to 8 pm. Venue: Wiegan Room, Arts & Sciences Building, Santa Clara University, California About the event and lecturer: [...]
September 24, 2013
Reclaiming Rights: Challenging Gender-based Violence in South Asia Date and time: Wednesday, September 25, 2013; 6 to 8 pm Venue: International Development Exchange (IDEX), 333 Valencia St., Suite 250, San Francisco About the event: The Delhi and Mumbai gangrapes have garnered critical public attention, outrage, and mobilising in India [...]
September 16, 2013
THE RAPE OF THE 23-year old medical student, Ms. Jyoti Singh Pandey, in New Delhi in December 2012 outraged many around the world. Sadly, for those of us with ties to India, this crime, as horrific and shocking as it was, did not come as a complete surprise. More recently, the same act was [...]
October 01, 2012
In October, we kick off Violence Against Women (VAW) Awareness Month on the blogosphere. VAW Awareness Month began as a completely voluntary, yet cohesive online campaign in 2011, when a group of dedicated bloggers/volunteers decided to band together and raise awareness about this social anathema that isn’t going away in a hurry. [...]
September 19, 2007
Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us, I WAS A YOUNG woman researcher inquiring into sexual harassment at the workplace soon after the Vishakha judgment in 1997. My boss had given me carte blanche and said I could begin wherever I wanted. Along with my co-researcher, I had to fill out 500 questionnaires from employees across all work sectors in Bangalore on incidences and prevalence of sexual harassment.
It was one of the most distasteful jobs: calling up HR managers of corporates and having them hang up the phone at the mention of sexual harassment at the workplace, Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us us. Since most workplaces were unaware of the recent judgment and loath to entertain something as controversial and unwanted as sexual harassment, we had to change the name of the study from 'sexual harassment at the workplace' to the more innocuous 'gender at the workplace'.
Our modus operandi was to request HR managers to gather employees for a session on 'gender' where we would introduce the issue, Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us. A popular perception is that women’s organizations are troublemakers. Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us canada, This didn’t help matters at all. I had meetings, sent emails and the responses to our request were denial, resistance and contempt. The standard response: there was no need to talk about sexual harassment where none existed, 100mg Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us. Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us, New judgment. "We have not heard about it. We are not bound by it." When we started saying "well, it is the law of the land and it is mandatory"...the lines usually went cold. Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us japan, It was frustrating, to say the least.
Once, finally having managed to snag some time with the HR manager of a big software company, I thought I could get my point across, 50mg Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us. No such luck, Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us. This middle-aged, male HR manager explained their meticulous policy on sexual harassment -- in all its condescending detail. The policy apparently specified the lengths of skirts women could wear so that they would not be provocative. 750mg Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us, No amount of logic or reference to empirical data debunking the myth that provocative clothes lead to sexual harassment made any impact. He refused to let us conduct sessions or to get his employees to fill out our questionnaire. Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us, Roughly, 80% of the corporates we approached refused to engage, even to the extent of replying to emails or phone calls. We did manage to conduct sessions in a couple of corporates through personal contacts. In one of the sessions, the women wondered aloud why I was wasting time talking to them about sexual harassment when I should have been talking to "construction workers who are in need of it", Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us uk. Urban, middle/upper class women who are able to subscribe to and read The Times of India, are supposedly well-educated, Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us us, well-informed, and therefore invulnerable to predatory sexual harassment unlike women in the unorganized sector. It was another story that many women stopped to chat after the same session to tell me stories of sexual harassment they had undergone in their working lives. In contrast, during a freewheeling talk with unorganized women workers, it didn't take much prodding for them to talk about the issue with candour and courage, Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us.
What the study eventually found was that sexual harassment cuts across all work sectors and knows no class or education barriers. And another upsetting trend: middle class women who were relatively powerful didn’t want to acknowledge sexual harassment or support each other in public even though it was a pervasive phenomenon, Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us overseas. They felt they would no longer be 'good' women or 'efficient, no-nonsense' women if they admitted that sexual harassment existed. Popular perception and HR managers blamed women’s provocations for sexual harassment. Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us, One can imagine the dissonance a woman undergoing sexual harassment would experience in such an environment. Generic Zithromax Sold In The Us japan, Ten years later, though many things still remain the same, some workplaces have complied with mandatory obligations and set up redressal mechanisms. Slow, small steps. We just wish they would be giant, fast steps instead.
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September 06, 2007
THIS ARTICLE in the Guardian has some important lessons for us in India as well. Bidisha, a novelist and art critic living in London, 50mg Cipro Indications, decided to confront harassment instead of adopting the usual mealy-mouthed approach. Cipro Indications mexico,
I went on ahead and then, as in a nightmare, I saw the boys again up ahead, Cipro Indications uk, watching me languidly. Cipro Indications ebay, My muscles filled with adrenaline and, fuelled by decades of rage, I began to pursue the boys like a killer cyborg - or a killer midget cyborg in bottle-end specs, Cipro Indications australia. They freaked on instinct and pedalled hard but there I was, 1000mg Cipro Indications, powering across the park and shaking my fist, miraculously keeping up.
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September 05, 2007
AT 24 Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az, , Shylaja Praveen's life was ahead of her -- an untrammeled space to be explored, full of possibilities and promise. That's not quite how it turned out though. Shylaja committed suicide last month, allegedly driven to despair by continual sexual harassment by the regional head of ING Vysya Financial Services in Bangalore where she worked.
This is not the first case of this kind. In June 2000, Sangeeta Sharma, an advocate in the Andhra Pradesh High Court killed herself after leaving a suicide note containing allegations of sexual harassment by fellow lawyers and senior advocates. Sangeeta did not want to name her harassers because she feared repercussions for herself and her child, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az. Shylaja tried multiple routes to justice in vain, including and up to approaching the State Women's Commission. Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az us, Both had probably reached some nadir of hopelessness where they felt the only way out was death.
These were not weak women. They had explored their options. Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az, In Shylaja’s case, she had even asked her superiors for help as recommended by Pramila Nesargi, Director of Karnataka Women's Commission. She must have patiently recounted her story again and again, risking humiliation and further victimization. This was no wilting flower.
Suicide and depression share a close bond and internationally, various studies have established a clear link between sexual harassment in the workplace and severe psychological trauma. According to the Fourth European Working Conditions Survey:
The proportion of workers reporting symptoms of psychosocial factors, such as sleeping problems, anxiety and irritability, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az japan, is nearly four times greater among those who have experienced violence or bullying and harassment as among those who have not. The negative impacts are not exclusively psychological or mental, however, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az. It is also the case that a higher incidence of physiological symptoms, notably stomach ache, is reported by those subjected to bullying and harassment.
So it's not hard to see how continually dealing with sexual harassment at the workplace can, in some cases, lead to suicide. What is more disturbing is that in India, we have a socio-cultural ethos that actively encourages women to be soft, submissive and, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az paypal
, above all, silent. Take a look at how the Deccan Herald reported
the story. The first paragraph said:
She used to lead the retail and corporate team in her bank and was known for her knack for communicating well in her profession. But Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az, ironically, she failed to take charge of her own life, and unable to cope with the alleged harassment from her boss, ended it on Friday evening.
Instead of focusing on the sexual harassment (they haven't even used the term), there is a condescending statement on Shylaja's inability to handle her own life. Because women are expected to take these things in their stride, ignore it, smile in the fact of it. Suck it up, baby. After all, it gets much worse, 50mg Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az
. And if you give in and break, it’s your own fault for failing to “take charge” of your own life. Meanwhile, the culpable one cocks a snook at the cops and retreats into hiding, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az
. Immediately after the suicide, Bharath, the sexual offender who was also regional head at the bank, was absconding. Later reports said that no comprehensive evidence had been found. Why doesn't this surprise me.
Then, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az uk, take a look at how Pramila Nesargi, Chairperson, Karnataka Women’s Commission, helped her 'fight' this battle. Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az, She advised her to 'talk to her superiors'. Later, she said: “Unfortunately, they were not very helpful. One of her bosses said he would help her find another job after directing her to save the messages sent by Bharath.”
Is that the best Ms Nesargi could do. The most effective plan she could craft as an 'expert'. Where was the contingency plan. What was the backup option, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az. What was the recommended Plan B, 30mg Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az. When the superiors were not helpful, why didn't she immediately ask Shylaja to file a complaint, to demand that an Enquiry Committee be set up. When Nesargi was aware that the company did not even have a sexual harassment policy in place, on what basis did she trust (and therefore ask the girl to trust) her superiors for a solution. Why didn’t she encourage her to take a hard line on this. Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az, Let’s not kid around. When you’re fighting something like sexual harassment, you cannot also play 'nice girl'. The problem is that, 1000mg Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az, inevitably, others expect you to. Even the women. Sometimes, especially the women. No matter what a woman is being forced to deal with, she must maintain the veneer of politeness, of delicacy, of being a 'good woman', Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az. And good women don't get aggro.
Expecting women to continually seek the most 'peaceful' solutions, to compromise rather than confront, to negotiate rather than demand is a form of repression. It forces women to put up with more than they need to, stick in there longer than they have to, 40mg Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az. It forces them to continually settle for second best, for less than they deserve. Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az, And when the peaceable methods don't work (because, let's face it, they often don't), this expectation makes them feel trapped. Because nobody ever tells them that fighting is an option -- sometimes, the best option.
While fighting sexual harassment in my previous job, aggression is what got me through. Well-planned, deliberate aggression. Every time the company came back with a carrot, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az mexico, a compromise, or a cock-and-bull story, I went back with long emails on what was wrong with it and how it had pissed me off even further. I was angry, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az. And I showed it, acted on it, practically lived on it for three months. Things may have turned out differently if Shylaja had felt that way. If she had felt anger instead of despair. If somebody had helped her marshal her mental forces and told her she can 'fight'. Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az, Not ask, plead, negotiate, request or supplicate, but fight. If they had looked her in the eyes, shaken her by the shoulders, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az coupon, and said: ‘Get the bastard and I’ll help you’.
She may have felt less helpless. She may have felt like she had a choice.
The tragedy is that Shylaja actually approached the State Women's Commission and tried to access the relevant support mechanisms. Few women would have had the courage to do this, Dr Gonzalo Cialis Tucson Az. But the commission failed to provide her with options or bolster her confidence. Shylaja's descent into despair is not just another unhappy accident. It is the product of a culture that traps women into choiceless living. And worse, it is a failure of the women's rights mechanism in the state.
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