Friday, October 25, 2013

Blog 7: India's Awareness of Sexual-Harassment Against Women in the Workplace

Workshops have begun that seek to educate employees about India's sweeping new sexual-harassment laws. India has been in the news a lot recently about issues of women's rights and safety in the country. The brutal gang-rape of a female student on a bus in December has brought widespread international attention to the country's rates of violence and sexual abuse against women. Some see the new laws as going too far, or being too in favor of the women and not giving enough towards the accused men. As women continue to enter the workplace in this growing economy attitudes must change.

India is a historically patriarchal society, women are often seen as burdens to families. Rates of female infanticide are high in the countryside.  Here a man can be productive and bring fortune and wealth to his family. However, a girl is a strain on resources and must be quickly given away, even then a dowry is often required. Women's rights have been an issue for a long time in India, however as it becomes more of a dominating world entity in the global economy international pressure has caused it to begin to address these concerns. The violent gang-rape in December sparked safety concerns for women worldwide. Countries began issuing warnings to people travelling abroad, handing out literature about things to avoid when travelling in India. Rape was a very real threat to women domestically and the workers coming in from overseas. National outrage caused a wave of support for struggling women's movements. Laws were quickly passed that sought to root out archaic ideas about women and property. Men who use their power or positions of influence to extort sex can now be punished under law. The local police are now obligated to take cases of violence against women seriously whereas before they would often go ignored. India is entering a new era of globalization and growth and it's attitudes and treatment towards women are growing with it.

Aaron Fountain
4:34 PM

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