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  Metros   Mumbai  12 Feb 2017  Every second working woman has faced sexual harassment: NGO

Every second working woman has faced sexual harassment: NGO

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRIYANKA NAVALKAR
Published : Feb 12, 2017, 3:20 am IST
Updated : Feb 12, 2017, 6:12 am IST

54 per cent working women in the city have experienced sexual harassment at their workplace.

Out of this, 37% faced harassment by male co-workers the rest 17% by their male seniors.
 Out of this, 37% faced harassment by male co-workers the rest 17% by their male seniors.

Mumbai: While the recent case of a Pune techie being murdered in her office allegedly by the watchman she had snubbed for staring at her has shaken the state, the situation in Mumbai seems to be no different.

According to data by Praja Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, 54 per cent working women in the city have experienced sexual harassment at their workplace, of which 37 per cent faced harassment by their male co-workers and the rest 17 per cent by their male seniors. Ironically, Mumbai police’s Crime Against Women (CAW) cell set up after the December 2012 Nirbhaya case, which tackles cases registered against women in the city, revealed that most of the cases don’t reach them and are dealt with only at the local police station level. Here, most of the cases get settled after victims are pressurised and threatened. The data released by Praja is from the Mumbai police.

 

When The Asian Age contacted Aditi Arora from the Praja Foundation, she said, “We acquire the data and statistics from the Mumbai police and provide it on a public platform. Our only motto is to create an awareness and put light on the current situation and statistics.”

The crime branch’s CAW cell tackles with the problems faced by women in the city. It also assists and counsels women in various matters. Out of the 54 per cent women that reported such cases in 2016, about 12 per cent received threats from their male counterpart to keep mum about it.

When The Asian Age spoke to one of the victims, Preeti Saniyal (name changed), she said, “In 2014, when I was working in an advertising firm, one of my male colleagues sent me lewd text at odd hours. I reported about the same to my seniors, who advised me to go to the police.” Ms Saniyal further added, “After I complained, he was simply given a transfer to a different city. Neither was he arrested, nor fired, but only transferred.”

 

When contacted, DCP (CAW) Pravin Pawar said, “The CAW deals with women who approach the special wing after being harassed or molested. On the basis of the nature of the complaint, we take the required action and get justice for the woman.”

However usually, the complaints that are registered at the police stations are dealt with at the local police station level, and do not reach the CAW wing at all. The victims are often pressurised to settle the case, sources said.

Tags: sexual harassment, crime against women cell, mumbai police