Why #MeToo makes a difference for women in the society?
Come 2018 October – Women, across the nation, are finally gathering up the courage to take a step against the sexual harassment they faced at their workplace.
#MeToo is now ringing a bell in the minds of Indian women from the cross section of industries they belong to. While women empowerment has been encouraged from various platforms over the years, women till today, till a large extent, are crippled by social stigma. The #MeToo campaign is finally empowering women to break the stigma and speak out.
In a country, contrary to where women are encouraged to access education and employment opportunities, but are expected to keep silent when she is sexually abused at the workplace. When she gathers up her strength to step ahead and seek justice, her integrity is questioned and doubted. The abuser either happens to be her boss, senior, colleague or subordinate – however, the scars remain for years. We, the women of India, are talking of women’s liberation, are we?
Touching in inappropriate places, making indecent proposals, passing sexually provocative comments and other acts of abuse – Indian women facing sexual harassment at the workplace have finally reached their breaking point and are coming ahead to protest the shameful acts.
Women may have taken time to raise her voice, but how does that make her doubtful? Working women knows the multiple loopholes in the system, where again she has chances of being harassed.
She may lose her confidence for a while when she is condemned and doubted for raising a complaint. That does not by anyway mean that her protest is not genuine or that she is seeking mileage. No one has the right to demean the integrity of a woman by doubting her! That is where the #MeToo campaign gives more power to her.
When the working woman makes an attempt to complain to her senior, she is asked questions like “do you have any proof?” She at times is even offered to set up a trap to catch her abuser by the management. Are these people joking on the protests against sexual harassment? And then if all this humiliation was not enough, she is threatened of dire consequences if she pursued the complaint further.
Well, after the #MeToo campaign spread like fire all across the country, people trying to rebuff the lady are taking the red alert seriously. Women who were not sure earlier, have finally awakened by the #MeToo campaign.
They are now aware of how the #MeToo campaign is a challenge they accept with grit, how it has evolved over the years and how finally, developed to become a platform for women in India to speak out about the sexual abuse/ harassment at workplace faced by them.
The outrage on sexual harassment spread like forest fire over the last few weeks, gaining momentum around October 2018 across cross-functional industries, starting from the entertainment industry to news media to government sectors – with more to come.
Indian women, are coming forward and voicing out their experiences of sexual harassment through the #MeToo campaign and taking the necessary actions to ensure that the abuser is punished.
The stigma and taboos in India, along with legal loopholes, are deeply ingrained in our society caging women from seeking and getting justice. Sexual Abuse and harassment in the workplace has grown like an epidemic over decades, and only a minor percentage of women actually got justice when they reported the incidents.
The victims of sexual harassment at workplace have waited long for justice, getting tired of being silenced or going unheard for years. They finally broke the wall of silence by joining the #MeToo campaign which outraged in October 2018.
Women at workplace are finally overcoming their fear and raising their voice against the sexual abuse they have faced. The #MeToo campaign has acted as a gateway for victims of sexual harassment at workplace to speak up, which finally led to the outbreak of reporting on cases of sexual harassment and misconduct at the workplace.
#MeToo no longer remains to be named as a ‘campaign restricted for the elite class.’ Women across the nation, from various sections of the society and cross-industries, are finally gaining the strength to fight against the abuse they face bang on. Despite the various controversies the campaign faces, #MeToo definitely gives women the courage and empowers them not to be ashamed of their story.
In a patriarchal, traditional and majorly conservative society – women find a ray of hope with #METoo. In industries, where women and girls in India had little control over their abusers and frequently faced abuse, the war has just begun with the #MeToo campaign.
Going back even 20 years from now, girls and women had very limited space for speaking about sexual abuse at workplace. There was too much of fear injected in women of being outcasted from their jobs and moving ahead in their professional lives. Keeping the workplace sexual abuse under covers and not confronting the trauma – the scars are far too many to be healed over in one day.
Though Indian women still have a long way to go, they are now uniting and marching ahead with the #MeToo campaign, getting a platform to vent out their bottled feelings. They are taking a step ahead to take action, empower other women to come forward and fight sexual harassment in the workplace from the grass root levels.
The outpour of women coming out and naming their harassers is a positive sign of empowerment. With the outrage and the strength women are showing in voicing out the workplace sexual harassment, there is a ray of hope that India is slowly moving toward creating a safe environment for women employees.
Senior Content Writer and Communicator