Sensitize pre-adolescent, adolescent and college goers about sexual harassment
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We are all quite aware that the fight against sexual harassment in workplace is gaining momentum across India.
Although addressing the issue as such can only be dealt separately at corresponding levels. I would like to highlight the importance of addressing the long term preventive measures that can be undertaken to curb this issue.
"Sensitize pre-adolescent, adolescent and college goers about sexual harassment through institutions"
The fact that sexual harassment is not an adult problem alone has been time and again highlighted in various studies and as well as through current realities. Although laws to curb and prevent sexual harassment exist, the society has not been sensitized about the deep rooted issue, that is sexual harassment. Addressing these issues from the adolescent stage of the children could help achieve the dual role of i) self-defence against the sexual harassment and ii) preventing the rise of sexual harassors/ sexual harassment. Think of it in a sociological perspective, an institution (education) is performing its function (informing the wards against the crime and demoralising nature of sexual harassment) in the process of socialization.
At the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp it is only fair, prudent and pragmatic to provide the next generation with prevention tools rather than making another generation suffer the same horror of sexual harassment.
As the Minster in charge of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Mr.Javadekar, you are well equipped to address the issue , bring it to the forefront and achieve the desired output. It is the utmost need of the hour to well equip the pre adolescent, adolescent and college goers about the menace of sexual harassment and educate them that it is not okay or alright to sexually harass another or to be sexually harassed, and also to enable them to handle, when a situation of sexual harassment is identified or informed to them. This would be helpful in a long way to reduce the rates of sexual harassment.
A framework could be made with the assistance of professionals and social activist who have real-time experience on this subject, to style a program that is able to inform the target group on interactive basis about sexual harassment. The framework should be able to address the complex issue of sexual harassment by explaining what is sexual harassment, how to identify it, how to handle when such a situation arises for oneself or others, besides just teaching them about the system that is in place for protection against sexual harassment. It should at least be able to help the first responder understand the complex nature of sexual harassment from different perspectives.
The essence of the program should not only be protection against sexual harassment but to also let the individuals know what could be construed as sexual harassment and to let them know that it is not okay/cool/funny to say/do those very acts, intentionally or otherwise.
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