Safety of Women Employees - A Big Question Mark

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 2040 , Published on 26 June 2013

According to a survey done by ASSOCHAM, working women are not comfortable & want to get back home after sunset as they have fear of some catastrophe to happen. The survey reports that the efficiency of women employees has been fallen by 40 percent due to the fear factor. The Delhi-NCR region has approximately 2500 IT and BPO companies which employ lakhs of women.

It’s not just about the impact of a barbarous rape on the female employees but the question arises on their safety in and outside the organization. Who should be answerable to these incidents and specially in the country where female employees are almost equally contributing to the economy as their male counterparts.

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Infact, the scenario is getting worse day by day where cases of sexual harassment are increasing in numbers. These cases come from within the organization where females are getting misbehaved, exploited, harassed or used for official or unofficial purposes. Not even in corporate, such cases are also emerging in premier educational institutes of the country. A recent case has been found in the country’s one of the renowned management institute where a female faculty has raised sexual harassment blame on her colleague faculty and the issue is becoming one of the hot topics among students and others faculty members. The male faculty is working in the institute for more than 4 years, is one of the popular and respected professors among the students. Though a gender sensitivity team has been established on urgent basis by the institute management still its awful to have these incidents in educational institutes.

In the words of MacKannon,” Sexual harassment may contribute to an undetermined extent to many aspects of women emplyoement experience,including absenteeism,turnover,productivity rates and work motivation,job dissatisfaction and unemployement”. While our society often provides us the proofs of unequal power relationships but they tend to appear the most in the workplace, where hierarchies are common. In the current scenario,women are participating in the workplaces at the fastest pace. Though,both women and men may experience sexual harassment in employment, but women tend to be more vulnerable to harassment by men, because relative to men, more women hold lower-paying, lower-authority and lower-status jobs. However, there are over 20 constitutional provisions laid down for sexual harassment, 70 per cent of women are not aware of them even in the Capital City Delhi, according to a survey brought out by the ASSOCHAM Women Development Foundation.The women safety in organization should be taken seriously and some guidelines should be made which is ought to be standardized by each and every organization. Atleast this step could help in uplifting the morale of women employees and can build their image infront of other employess in the organisation.

However,the barbarous rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi, last year has been recalled in Parliament, with women’s safety taking precedence over the Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha on International Women’s Day.So,lets see how it goes and helps in preventing and responding to the sexual harassment.

This article is authored by Payal Anand from IIM Indore

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