Sexual Violence: A Global Pandemic
Written by Nikunj Morarka
Policy and Legal Team
Sexual violence is a global pandemic. One in three women experience sexual or physical violence – most likely from their intimate partner, according to a report from the World Health Organization. There is an urgent need to increase sensitisation regarding sexual violence and the awareness of consent and sexual violence amongst persons at large. In this series, we examine sexual violence and related issues that have come up in the news, on a weekly basis, published every Saturday. This is an attempt to improve awareness regarding incidents of sexual violence and related matters, so that we, as a society can take steps towards collective action to reduce its incidence. It is an effort to ensure that we acknowledge the rampant sexual violence that exists, lest we forget.
This issue looks at news from the 16th-22nd September, 2017.
Bill O’Reilly smears sexual harassment complainant
Bill O’Reilly, the former top Fox News host who was fired amid allegations of sexual harassment and an advertiser boycott, denied allegations of harassment and defended himself in an interview with Matt Lauer this Tuesday. He tried to smear one of the women who alleged harassment by claiming that she was arrested for a filing a false case. He was on the show to sell his new book. Whether his new book sells as well as his previous books will tell us whether partisan news consumers are willing to easily forgive the crimes of their beloved anchors.
Multiple sexual harassment accusations against railway engineer
A female railway employee working in the Tiruchirappalli railway division has lodged a complaint of sexual harassment against the Senior Section Engineer. She alleged that he would make her do household chores and also asked her for sexual favours. 18 of the female employees under the engineer have signed a letter claiming sexual harassment. The complaint has been forwarded to the railway board.
Sexual harassment probe cancelled by High court
An investigation into a judge accused of sexually harassing a female lawyer was cancelled by the Gujarat High court on the grounds of delay in inquiry by other judges. The judge was given the benefit of laws and guidelines that came into effect after the complaint.
Failure of the National Commission for Women
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has been pulled up by the Central Information Commission (CIC) for not being a “responsible employer” and not fulfilling its role defined by Section 10 of the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 by not acting on a complaint of sexual harassment filed by an employee from a minority community against a senior officer. The Act states that the NCW should “investigate and examine all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women under the constitution and other law” and “take up the cases of violation of the provisions of the constitution and of other laws relating to women with the appropriate authorities”. It later came to light that another woman had alleged sexual harassment by the same officer.
Uber’s license not renewed in London amid sexual harassment concerns
Uber’s license in London hasn’t been renewed and one of the main reasons is the company’s poor handling of cases of sexual harassment by its drivers. Uber apparently was lax in reporting to the police and once continued to employ a driver accused of harassment and fired him only after he sexually harassed a passenger again.
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