Sexploitation in offices
With the popularization of the education in the middle part of the last century in Kashmir, we saw women occupying key posts in almost all government offices. What started with a tiny majority is now a case of neck to neck competition between men and women. Women are excelling in almost all key fields and their contribution is being acknowledged by the government on all forums.
However, deep down the monster of sexploitation is rearing its head without the media gaze ever falling on it. Women in Kashmir are being sexploitated in our universities, colleges, offices, workshops, busses and other important government institutions. These issues of sexploitation never make it to the newspapers because women are reluctant to report it. In calibrated whispers this menace is being discussed in public domain. The issue starts with one individual willing to concede to the demands of the boss which then spawns relentless demands from the oppressor towards other women. Many offices are witnessing this toxic atmosphere and sometimes salary hike and promotions are put on hold if the demands of the bosses are not meant.
The latest trend is taking subordinates of opposite gender out of state under the garb of study tours, corporate meetings and client meetings. There have been reports of women subjected to sexploitation many times over in the same office.
There have been very few official complaints being lodged in this regard but it does not mean that it does not exist. The reporting of a crime of such a nature is considered a taboo in our conservative society. The Women Right’s Commission need to be proactive and need to secretly touch base with women working in different workplaces.
A woman desires all comfort and security at the place of her work. However, for the enforcement of such things the punitive action is mandated as and when any women is sexploitation. The non-punishment emboldens other people to push women to satiate their luster. Kashmir is short of the requisite number of Women Police Stations and thus complainants find it difficult to report the matter.
Besides, with the profusion of social media the news spreads like wildfire. In a traditional society like Kashmir women are reluctant to report such cases as it hampers their marriage prospects. Media persons covering such cases should take utmost care not to reveal the identity of the victim.
Strong punitive action needs to be meted out to the accused in such cases so that no one dares to indulge in such cases in future.