A lot of conversation has been going around giving liberty to women in order to practice the profession of their choice. Interestingly, the debate is not only limited to India, but in the most developed countries of the world such as the US and UK, this debate has been doing rounds for a really long period of time. After many struggles and rebellions, some women are eventually able to get a platform for themselves where they can work and earn money, and therefore, respectable lives, for themselves. It is hence extremely unfortunate that there are more than 72% of women in India itself, where female professionals have confessed that they feel sexually vulnerable in their working space.
Not only in rural India, this problem of men trying to demonstrate their patriarchal power to women working with them is also quite prevalent in urban India as well. Although, there is a law called the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal), Act 2013, not many women feel safe on account of legal protection only. One has to understand the fact that women are physically going to their respective offices and are spending their time there for the major part of the day, workplace harassment can take a really diabolical turn. It is a very common sight that men can be found leering at women. There are many places in urban India where women are forced to wear tight skirts or shorts with long heels. A particular section of men at the offices target such women and even assert that women invite such ogling and staring. Another fold of workplace harassment can go a step further where men, mostly in senior positions, might find opportunities to inappropriately touch a woman, without their consent. Commenting on the way women dress or do makeup is a very regular way of disrespecting women. Geetanjali Care, the best NGO in India is working really hard on this matter.
Talking specifically about rural areas, one knows that women have very limited employment opportunities. Most of the time, they help their husbands or sons to carry out regular activities in the fields or diaries or small scale grocery stores. In certain cases, women are harassed by their male employers or the landlords. What happens eventually as a result is mothers begin to discourage their daughters to go to school or get education and further get employment. The males in the family also get a reason to stop their sisters, wives and daughters from realising their self-expression through earning and contributing in the family expenses.
The enormity of the problem suggests that this issue is not only to be resolved at an institutional level. Local governments can help, but they cannot always be possibly present at the time of misconduct practiced against women. The only solution is to make women aware of their rights and legal privileges. Geetanjali Care, a nonprofit and a non-government organisation in Gurgaon, is precisely working in the same direction. Women are being made aware of the rights they have to protect their modesty lawfully. Moreover, confidence is being instilled in them so that they’re never afraid and hesitant to voice their displeasure. After all, God resides only in a country where its women are respected. Join us in our mission of empowering women now!