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Facts And Fears
Last month Sakshi, an NGO, concluded a pilot study on 'Sexual Harassment at the Workplace' in Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar and parts of Kerala. The respondents included 250 men and women from the public, private, corporate and unorganised sectors and educational institutes. This study is a preliminary to a wider all-India research project to be completed by mid-2000. Its findings:
72 per cent women and 74 per cent men have heard or encountered cases of sexual harassment at work. 62 per cent women and 52 per cent men feel that women generally face sexually inappropriate behaviour at the workplace. 23 per cent women said people made unwanted advances to them, 36 per cent men said the same for the women they know.
24 per cent women admitted their lives would be different had they not been treated in a sexist and unfair way, 40 per cent men feel the same about the women they know.
29 per cent women feel that prevalence of sexual harassment in India is high (at 61 to 75 per cent on a scale), 25 per cent men feel the same.
69 per cent women feel harassment is due to social upbringing, 68 per cent feel it's due to gender-role difference in society.
65 per cent women and 57 per cent men feel implementation of the Supreme Court guidelines on sexual harassment at the workplace would result in a healthy work environment.
(All percentages have been rounded off to the last decimal)