Sexual Harassment: An Act of Humiliation

Women in India have been subjected to varied kinds of brutality by their families or their male counterparts. Sexual harassment is one of its kinds. Indubitably women in India has achieved endearing success in all spheres be it education, work or any other field of human endeavor. The status of women in India has been always held high and has been compared to that of “God” since time unknown. However, in recent times, the status of women in the nation has been diminished to a great extent.

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The various forms of transgression against women has become an excruciating story on the first few pages of the news papers on a daily basis specially women being victim of sexual crimes. It is really poignant and shame that sexual felony against women are escalating every day. Several questions keep on revolving in the minds of every woman. Is it a misdemeanor to be born as a girl? Why do females in our society have to suffer so much? Why girls have to lose her own self-respect and still go out and earn livelihood for her kin? Is being a girl means to splurge her life inside the house? Are women really safe in today’s world? These questions have cropped up because of the problems women and young girls are facing every now and then.

Sexual Harassment is one of the deep rooted social stigmas faced by women particularly the working women at work place by their male counterparts. Women have been a victim of sexual harassment at various places, be it at home, work place, educational institutes, public places and even in public transports. Women in India are not the sole victim of this scandalous act rather women around the World are a prey of this reprehensible act. By merely showing some obscene pictures etc. can amount to sexual harassment and it is not fundamental to have any kind of physical contact with the victim. Sadly enough, every female has now or then have been a victim of sexual harassment in some way or the other. It is a matter of sheer ignominy for a nation like India, which is know for its culture, respecting every individual; where the Supreme law, the “Constitution of India” guarantees liberty, equality and sovereignty to every citizen is incapable to combat the societal evil of sexual harassment.

However, in India, there are not many laws for grievance against any kind of sexual harassment being countenanced by the women in our society nevertheless; still the Government has taken immense efforts to endow justice to the victims and to obliterate this shameful crime from our society. The one who is accountable of sexual harassment can be punished under section 294 and section 509 of IPC. In 1998, the NCW developed a code of conduct which stretched out the definition of sexual harassment and in 2001; a draft bill was designed by the same that created a great scope for determining some effective laws for women against sexual harassment. In 2006, a Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill was passed by Parliament in order to shield the Indian women at the workplace form being a victim of sexual harassment.

According to the Constitution of India, sexual harassment infringes the fundamental right of a woman to gender equality under Article 14 of the Constitution of India and her right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 where right to live does not mean mere animal existence rather it means the right to live with human dignity. The guidelines mentioned in the act showed some positive impacts and made the victims to fight against the offenders openly. Though, several other legislations are there in our country that helps a great to prevent this undesired harassment of women in our society but this laws and legislations can work effectively only when the victim woman will come in front and will show the courage to fight against the harassers. Media can play a great role in creating awareness against such crimes and making people more vigilant and alert about the crimes that might take place. The police needs to be extra vigilant especially in the secluded areas where theses kind of obscene acts might take place.

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