Even as a more stringent law against sexual harassment of working women is in the pipeline, a study here has exposed rampant increase in such cases in the health sector.
The medical staff in hospitals are of the view that sexual harassment in a health institution is “normal and harmless”, the study conducted by leading NGO ‘Population Council’ on ‘Sexual harassment in Workplace’ said.
In-depth interviews with women employees in two government and private hospitals in Kolkata revealed that 77 of the 135 women interviewed admitted to sexual harassment while 50 did not complain, it said.
“Many fear they will be blamed for provoking such an incident. Others fear loss of reputation after complaining. So the culture of silence and denial continues,” the study said.
“Forty-five women reported psychological harassment, 41 verbal harassment, 27 unwanted touch and 16 sexual gestures and exhibitionism,” it said.
However, no incidents of rape were reported in the study instead there had been reports of attempt to rape. PTI