The Indian National Bar association believes in Gender Equality and totally extension of Sexual Harassment be it against women or be it against men. INBA in the year 2018 opened its 2nd Edition of the Sexual Harassment Survey after a successful completion of the 1st Edition. The 2nd Edition believes in spread of awareness along with the survey. On 1st July 2018, the Student Intern team of INBA organized a Sexual Harassment Awareness program in the Pacific Mall, Subhash Nagar. The Chief Guest for the event was Mr. Kaviraj Singh, the General Secretary of INBA and the Guest of honour were Mrs. Vinakshi Singh, Director Trustman & Co and Mr. Subroto Dutta, Advisor to Indian National Bar Association.
The means of spreading awareness was through Dance, Song and Play, the oldest means of spreading awareness which was used in the Medieval Age too. The Organizing Team of Student Intern consisted of Ms. Anushka Misra a student from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad; Ms. Ankita Dawra, a student from Amity Law School, Noida; Mr. Pallav Aneja a student from the Inderprastha University of Law.
The full event conducted of a Dance by Students of INBA, followed by a performance by “Lafz-The Band”, and lately a Play performance by “The Illusionist Society”. The Dance depicted a story of the 20th Century, a desired love story where the Boys used to flirt with girls and girls used to fall in love and give into the flirting as they were very innocent but sometimes the boys failed to understand that just simple sweets words from the Girl is not a “Yes” from her side and the boys used to take the girl for granted as per the norms of Patriarchal Society and something wrong would happen( Rape, Molestation etc) and girls in the 20th Century would not say anything but feel like an “Awari” and finally end up life by a suicide. But small Changes has come in the 21st Century and more is to come. Now girls know the “Mardani Anthem” thou few in number but girls are coming up and reporting the harassment against them. The last ending spoke of a century were Patriarchy and Harassment will end together. The band sang songs of women empowerment and of how important the women are in the society, the band gave the message that women are not mere child breeders but they are the maker of a society. Songs like Ore Churaiya, Dhunki, Vande Ma Taram etc songs were sung. Lastly, a play was enacted by the Illusionist Society which talked about the laws of Transgender, Men, and Women, what they should do in case of Sexual Harassment Crisis. They also showed realistic court scenes of famous Harassment cases of Vishaka, Asifa, Nirbhya and also showed how the law reacted to these case. This was indeed a splendid performance and the silent audience applauded a lot after the performance.
Lastly, INBA Student Intern Reporting Team headed by Ms. Shristi Chawla from Amity Law School, Noida conducted another survey along with old survey in this awareness drive. This time the survey was done by widening the horizon and questioning people from all genders and age groups. It was Kept in mind that everyone is equal in the eyes of law, the survey focused on questions relating to what the public feels about transgender and men’s rights and if such classes too face harassment according to them and if there must be laws for their protection also. Further questions were asked regarding the public’s view on the implementation of The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 and if they feel it was a success or failure and what steps further should be made by the parliament to make it an iron law.
Majority of the participants felt that the sexual harassment laws in India are biased towards women and the perception in India is that men cannot even be considered to be victims of sexual harassment due to the patriarchal values and mindset and preferred to keep silent as they believed that their masculinity would be questioned if people found out.
A 2017 government study on child harassment revealed a shocking 53.2 percent of children reported experiencing one or more forms of sexual harassment. Of this number, 52.9 percent were boys. Hence we interviewed a few young male children if they knew the difference between bad touch and good touch and if they knew what to do in such situations and explained to them the same.
When asked women, over 38% women claimed to have faced sexual harassment at workplace, while 50.7 percent said that they had been targets of harassment online. Although more the 60% of the participants were aware of the sexual harassment law at workplace, many felt that companies still did not comply to the norms laid down by the act and did not have an active internal complaints committee at the workplace.
After the landmark judgment given by the Supreme Court which legally declared transgender as the third gender, a positive attitude and awareness was seen regarding the rights of transgender which could be judged in the responses on the survey. Finally, the survey asked the people if they feel there is enough legal protection for those who have been sexually harassed. More than 70% of people agreed that although there have been continuous efforts by the government to introduce and amend sexual harassment laws yet their implementation and awareness is still lacking. Overall the survey showed positive results and an above average awareness amongst the people.
Thus, in totally this event was a great success and INBA has been able to touch many people’s life through this Survey. Success was revelled when many people came up to INBA members and shared their issues and looked forward towards our help. Thus, INBA promises in conducting more such event and spread awareness amongst people.
Written & Edited by,