Since childhood we have been writing essays on If I were a Bird, If I were a Butterfly, If I were a fish. But today as a woman if I have to write if I were a woman, what will I write?
Will I write, I will I’ll be a superhero or a magician who can take in all pain and keep providing solutions and smiles – NO. If I were a woman, and thanks to God Almighty, I am. I want to be empowered both socially and economically. I want Empowerment where I can make my own decisions for my personal benefits as well as for the society.
Empowering women means standing by our self and by them when they need the support to empower themselves. Today women need not just food, cloth and shelter. They need respect, they need to be heard, they want to prove their worth in more places where they have already been.
But unfortunately, when they move out to workplaces, they have to face sexual harassment, then is the time we need to be with her #weforher.
SEE. Know where the line is. If you see something or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore it.
TALK. It takes courage to speak up. Talk with your boss, your colleagues or with the person who is crossing the line.
SUPPORT. Don’t underestimate the power of support. It can help a colleague stand up and take action.
We need to be considerate about the complaints being reported and take the required actions through POSH laws and Vishakha guidelines which are the guiding lights for resolution to these issues.
We need to take preventive steps like
- Sexual harassment should be affirmatively discussed at workers’ meetings, employer-employee meetings, etc.
- Guidelines should be prominently displayed to create awareness about the rights of female employees.
- The employer should assist persons affected in cases of sexual harassment by outsiders.
- Central and state governments must adopt measures, including legislation, to ensure that private employers also observe the guidelines.
- Names and contact numbers of members of the complaints committee must be prominently displayed.
Now coming back to If I were a women, I would work for long term cultural change, proactively understand what is happening within my own company and around me, I will not wait for people to come forward or for a situation to occur, or assume it’s not taking place because we have not heard about it.
No one should have to put up with sexual harassment; anytime or anywhere.