On February 6, 2016 Safecity was invited to conduct two workshops on “Gender Sensitivity and Sexual Harassment” at Alliance University in Bangalore with 16 students from B.Com Sem II and 47 students from Sem VI students.
The sessions began with a small activity on safe/unsafe spaces and the different experiences of and situations in which people feel safe and unsafe and the challenges of keeping ourselves safe.
Following this, we explored the concepts of gender & sex where the students shared various examples from their lives that highlighted the effect of gender norms in our day to day lives which led to a consensus that gender stereotypes do negatively affect all of us.
This was followed by a passionate discussion on the subject of sexual violence, the various forms of sexual violence with a focus on sexual violence in public spaces (more commonly referred to as sexual harassment), their potential effects and the laws around them.
Students spoke of their experiences and that of the people they know with respect to sexual violence in public spaces and shared the common apprehensions of reporting these cases and the fact that they weren’t aware of all the types of sexual violence they could report to the police.
In the end we discussed the importance of collectively standing up against sexual violence and the small solutions we could implement on our own individual levels. We then introduced our work at Safecity where we are crowd-sourcing stories of sexual violence in public spaces to help create awareness about and facilitate solutions to this issue.
Both the sessions were extremely interactive, the students were very enthusiastic and shared their concerns on all the issues we discussed. All in all, we had a fantastic time facilitating these workshops and hope to come back to this institution again in the future.