A workplace is arguably the most important area of an individual’s life. Be a player, not a victim, is the first rule of thumb in office politics. But what if you are a young professional on a learning curve, and your supervisor’s prejudices catch you unawares?
Ample evidence of this was seen when the #MeToo movement took a life of its own in India, expanding the discourse on feminism and women’s liberation. Three stories in the media stood out – Nasreen Khan’s account of her Calcutta Times editor Satadru Ojha and his team of predominantly female cohorts who spoiled her copies and planted stories in her name; Navbharat Times reporter Anita Shukla’s lawsuit against her editor and three other colleagues who formed a cabal against her for her intransigence when asked to cosy up to him; and Meenakshi Menon’s account of how her housing society refused to transfer her flat in her name after a managing committee member lost his bid for it and made life difficult for her till she launched a legal battle and won. All these women helped identify the larger elephant in the room – professional and gendered harassment of women.
On November 17, after a deliberation aimed at addressing the avalanche of #MeToo plaints, the National Commission for Women (NCW) along with Justice V. Sujata Manohar announced its plan to draft a separate law or policy addressing sex bias in the workplace and discrimination against women employees by employers.
Speaking to The Wire, NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said about 50% of the 2,383 workplace harassment complaints received by it over the last few years comprise simple cases of discrimination. The NCW got 522 such complaints in 2015, 539 in 2016, 570 in 2017 and 752 in the ongoing year.
Source: The Wire