December 24th, 2018
The importance of the #MeToo movement cannot be understated and equality of at the workplace can only be achieved when procedural and institutional hurdles don’t block the mechanisms of filing a complaint. Breaking from the shackles of oppression requires a progressive outlook towards the law and both women and men should have equal opportunities for achieving their career goals. Such progress is hampered by acts of sexual harassment at the workplace as for victims of sexual harassment, there are direct consequences which affect their work and living conditions.
There also exists an atmosphere or humiliation and intimidation for the victim. Usually, in workplaces, common instances of sexual harassment may be, for example, repeated social invitations for drinks or dinner and flirting where sexual favours are anticipated or expected. Sexual harassment affects women both economically as well as psychologically.
Sexual harassment is both sexual behaviour and unwelcome behaviour. It may be subtle or may be very direct, which is usually common because the person harassing is in a position of authority. Sexual harassment is not limited to sexual demands or favours made under the threat of job consequences. The term “sexual” embraces a wide range of behaviour in the workplace. The most common forms of harassment which are “sexual” in nature are:
- Physical Harassment: physical acts of touching which is unwelcome, kissing, pinching, starting with lust etc.
- Verbal Harassment: sexual jokes, sexual comments about a person’s body etc.
- Gestural Harassment: gestures which are sexual in nature such as nods, winks, licking lips, gestures with hands, legs, fingers etc.
- Written or graphic harassment: sexually explicit pictures, harassment through emails, pornographic material etc.
Authored By Malavika Rajkumar (Legal Researcher Nyaaya)