What is now very popularly promoted and also sometimes misused is the #metoo movement. Though this movement gained global popularity in the last one year, the roots of this movement were sowed long ago in the early 2000s when Tarana Burke, an African- American civil rights social activist first used this phrase and who was herself a victim of such assault. Her aim was to do something for the women and girls of colours that have been victims of such harassments. This movement did not gain much popularity until October 2017, when a Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment by more than 70 women. Since then, cases that were buried years ago have come out and many famous personalities belonging to different industries have been charged and investigated for cases of sexual harassment and have been found to be guilty. Rumours talking that this is only a women supportive movement have been brought down by men such as actors Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek, who have shared their own stories of sexual harassment. Talking about its spread in India, it received massive attention when Tanushree Dutta, a Bollywood celebrity accused Nana Patekar of his inappropriate behaviour during the shoot of a film. Since then, many personalities from different industries including TV actor Alok Nath, comedian Utsav Chakraborty and politician MJ Akbar have been accused by women for harassing them sexually. Some cases have also proved that people have used this movement for their personal rivalry by filing false cases against some personalities and causing serious problems to them. But this movement needs to be considered as an important step towards a safer society and workplaces.
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Different acts that can be considered Sexual Harassment include inappropriate physical contacts and advances, making sexual remarks, showing pornography and also any unwelcomed non-verbal sexual misconduct. Considering this matter of utmost importance, companies have been asked to set up internal committees that employees can comfortably use to file any such case. They are also asked to take strict actions against such offenders, which is often neglected. Companies have also taken steps to avoid such cases by clearly stating different acts of sexual harassment, by employing more females to the Internal Complaints Committee and encouraging employees to come up when such cases happen, by conducting a detailed background verification of new employees. These steps can lead us to a safer society and a better workplace.
Article credits: Diyam Sharma