Most women still don't complain about sexual harassment at workplace: Survey

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2017-03-08 18:04 Bengaluru: A new survey looking into the status of sexual harassment at workplace has found that 68pc of women don’t complain about the problem to their superiors due to due to “fear, embarrassment, lack of confidence” among other things. The survey was conducted by the Indian National Bar Association (INBA), a professional body of lawyers, and Netrika Consulting, a professional risk and integrity company which specialises in investigation and women’s safety. The survey was carried out at BPOs, IT sector, educational institutions, legal firms, hospital and other working sectors. pollaroid-107 According to the survey, 38 percent of women claimed to have experienced sexual harassment at workplace, while 22 per cent said they had experienced it at school and college and the rest 40 pc in other places. The survey found that 68.9 percent of victims chose not to complain to superiors due to fear, embarrassment, lack of confidence in complaint mechanism, lack of awareness and due to stigma attached to sexual harassment. The harassment could last from less than six months to over a year. Sanjay Kaushik, Managing Director at Netrika Consulting and Investigation, and member of INBA said, “The results have been shocking. There is a need for companies to take complaints seriously and act fast. Once women see actions taken, they would complain and the harassment would end.” Advocate Zameer Nathani , Honorary National Secretary, Indian National Bar Association, said, "We found that sexual harassment cases are still high in the country. But the most shocking is the unawareness about the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (prevention, prohibition and redressed) Act 2013." According to the survey, 75pc of sexual harassment instances pertained to inappropriate touching and passing lewd comments while the second most prevalent form of harassment related to asking for sexual favours. The survey also found that the companies were unaware of following the process under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013, with 65.2 pc of respondents saying there was lack of awareness about the due process. The survey also found that victims were sexually harassed by showing them suggestive pictures, touching in an inappropriate way, flashing themselves or being forced to do something sexual. In the survey, 87.9 pc of respondents said sexual harassment occurred within their community while 53.6 said they had personally witnessed sexual harassment involving members of their community. As many as 50.7 pc said they had been targeted online or on social networking. The survey was carried out in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Assam, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Lucknow. A total of 6047 working people – 78pc females, 22 pc males -participated in the survey.