A safe workplaceInternational news channels today are speaking strongly against sexual harassment which is creating awareness around the world. Famous people in many fields have been exposed for committing sexual harassment.
International news channels today are speaking strongly against sexual harassment which is creating awareness around the world. Famous people in many fields have been exposed for committing sexual harassment. Many women have been courageously exposing their bitter experiences of harassment at the workplace with the support of the media. It is time we seriously talked about the environment at the workplace for women in Nepal. Research conducted in America shows that a person experiences sexual assault every 98 seconds, and sexual violence affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. If an advanced country like the US where women are supposed to be strong in terms of education and economy has such problems, what do you think is the situation of women engaged in retail stores, food services and domestic work in Nepal? Scared of social stigma, many women don’t express their problems openly.
Workplace sexual harassment affects its victims in several ways. Victims can suffer emotional stress, humiliation, anxiety, depression, anger and physical illness. The victim may lose her job or feel compelled to resign. Policymakers may not think it is important to include sexual harassment in their plans and policies, hence the media should raise the issue. Unless women dare to reveal that they have been harassed, the problem will go on increasing. Women in workplaces like hospitals, schools, restaurants and cinemas must be urged to speak out against sexual violence.
Global attempts to combat sexual harassment at the workplace are increasing, and laws against such crimes have been passed in most countries. But there is no such law in Nepal due to which most cases of sexual harassment, especially rape, go
unreported. There should be strong rules and regulations to punish perpetrators. Moreover, schools should play a vital role in educating children about correct manners.
Sex education should also be made accessible to all boys and girls which may protect them from big accidents in the future. Sound knowledge of the physical changes students undergo during adolescence will also make them aware about the need to maintain a friendly environment among friends, that is between boys and girls.
Members of the film industry have often been accused of committing sexual assault, and the case may be the same in Nepal. Many celebrities keep their experiences a secret due to fear of bad publicity. This proves that many incidences of sexual assault go unreported, and Nepali celebrities must learn from this practice and have the courage to speak against such violence. Sexual harassment is not something that is disgusting for women only, it is something that should provoke repulsion among everybody and encourage them to prevent it. There should be an anti-sexual harassment policy in every organisation in order to maintain a fair and productive environment, and its implementation is a must.