Indian women face a barrage of threats ranging from child marriage, dowry killings and human trafficking to rape and domestic violence, largely due to deep-rooted attitudes that view them as inferior to men. Thus, in India the “culture of harassment” is no big news!
According to Action Aid UK report, nearly four of five women (79%) in India have experienced some form of harassment or violence in public and a third groped or touched in public (39%), or faced someone exposing themselves, while more than half reported that they had been followed.
46% reported insults and name-calling in public, 44% experienced wolf-whistling, 16% had been drugged and 9% reported they had been raped.
It is as if society is telling women that public spaces are not for them – with women faced harassment in multiple places - on the street, in parks, at community events, on college campuses and while travelling on public transport.
Even the well-educated working women, at some point in their career life have been exposed to misogyny, sexism, workplace bullying or even harassment by male superiors.
Newspaper headlines have become common these days where women become victims of recriminations from their alleged sexual abusers, stating that the woman who claims to be harassed or inappropriately touched is lying to tarnish the image of the abuser.
What’s even sadder, is that in spite of a strong law and increased awareness about women rights post 2012 Delhi gang rape case, around 70% women do not report sexual harassment case by their superiors as per a survey conducted by the Indian Bar Association in 2017.
National Women’s Parliament feels for the women who choose the convenient and comfortable path of compromising, worrying about consequences. We dind it our objective to support and encourages the victims to feel that their self respect is a non negotiable entity stand up against it. To be proud and happy that you come in that elite list of very few women who speak up!