It’s shameful yet true that even in today’s generation women are victimized in every place whether it is their home, school, or work place.Even today, women working in different workplaces have to suffer from harassment, bullying, and violence related to physical or emotional state of mind. As a society, we should make our surroundings safe for women so that they can work peacefully without any fear of being assaulted. Women’s victimization is an emerging issue nowadays. Where women are aiming to achieve incredible achievements for our society on the other hand they are being treated as an object and assaulted mercilessly every day whether it is domestic violence, sexual molestation, or harassment at the workplace.
The cases of women’s victimization are increasing day by day. To put a stop to it, we need to make our society aware of the effects of victimization on a woman. Strict rules and laws should be applied to protect women from these assaulting monsters.
Studies show that about 80% of women are experiencing victimization in the workplace. Not only women are victimized but men are also a part of victimization with a lower frequency than women. Women who never report about the victimization are often blamed for it due to maintaining silence for a long time and for creating fake scenarios to gain attention. This increases fear among women. This tends to create a hostile working environment for women where their silence is misunderstood for asking more sexual attention. Fighting for our safety and rights for a long time only a woman can understand the pressure in which she is working. Beside of getting victimized at the workplace, they fear it to discuss the incident with anyone even not with their families. Otherwise they will be confined to many restrictions and won’t be able to work towards their dreams and ambitions.
● What is victimization?
Victimization means where one person being made a victim due to another person who damages the physical or psychological state of mind of the victim by different ways of assault such as murder, rape, sexual molestation, bullying, and harassment. Assaults can be of various types such as verbal abuse, physical, and emotional.
Even at workplaces women are offered bribes or given threats for not cooperating during these unwanted sexual practices of men even if it is against their will. The victimization takes on negative effects on the mind of women as they face stress, anxiety due to this which led to unwanted practices such as consumption of alcohol, eating disorders, leaving the job, lowering of self-esteem, and lacking self-confidence. The fear of getting assaulted every day at work completely disturbs the psychological state of mind of a woman. Due to the late reporting of the victimization cases, many women often face negative judgments, secondary victimization, rape threats from the culprit, and fear of getting ashamed in front of everyone.
● Examples of harassment, bullying, and victimization
Bullying is considered as throwing sexual comments and judgments on anyone by making them feel isolated and vulnerable in that situation. Sometimes, wearing any special outfit or dress for any special occasion becomes difficult for a woman since she has to face all those sexual and unwanted comments from their male co-mates without asking for it. This violent behaviour sometimes turns into an unsettling experience due to which a woman fears going to work the very next day.
Harassment includes different types of assaults based on age, caste, color, experience, marital status, religion, etc. It can be in the form of verbal or physical abuse which negatively affects the mind of the victim. Verbal harassment includes calling out names, slangs, inappropriate jokes, and insults which can harm the mental state of a person. Physical harassment includes creating a hostile work environment for female as well as male employees by groping them from behind or pressing themselves on others and touching genital areas without permission. It includes coworkers and supervisors harassments also as they can also make intimidating sexual comments and fire female employees for not fulfilling their sexual desires.
An example of victimization can also include not letting the female employees take initiative in their work. Instead of encouraging them, the supervisors and their co-workers suppress them and their work.
● What protection measures should be made for the safety of women at workplaces?
Every organization should develop some practices and laws for making their working environment safe for their female employees.
1. Introducing sexual harassment policy-
In every workplace, there should be a sexual harassment policy that contains all the strict norms and rules related to the policy. There should be a zero-tolerance approach for non-violation of the policy. Other co-workers should be made aware of the severe consequences for violating the policy.
2. Creating awareness among the employees-
There are still many organizations where women’s safety is not considered essential. Today’s given scenarios show that there is a substantial rise in the number of victimization cases at the workplace over a decade. Creating awareness among employees regarding women’s safety through seminars, workshops, and open group discussions. Starting a wellness programme for the mental health of co-workers will also help in healing this situation.
3. Encouraging and motivating women for expressing themselves-
Generally, women don’t speak up due to fear of getting insulted in front of everyone. Due to a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence, they confine themselves in a particular situation and maintain their silence. We as a society should encourage women to speak up and take a stand for themselves so that instead of getting scared of consequences they fight with the situation.
4. Developing complaint committees-
It’s sad but true that even now many complaints regarding women’s victimization are ignored by the organization or any strict actions are not taken. Therefore, a complaint committee of 4 or more members of the organization should be appointed for listening and registering the harassments against women and strict action should be taken. Punishing the culprits and firing them from their job is necessary to develop a sense of fear among others so that any other person doesn’t dare to repeat these practices again.
Apart from the above tactics, an organization should organize self-defense workshops once a week for more safety of women. This will encourage women to grow their self-esteem and confidence back.
We as a society are mainly responsible for building this surrounding for women. We always make our daughters, sisters practice do’s and don’t instead of letting them do whatever they want according to their will.
Treating women with utmost respect and developing a safer environment for them speaks to the great value of humanity.