Despite India’s economic liberalization, which began more than two decades ago, brought with it more progressive Western ideas of gender equality, women continue to face a barrage of threats based on traditional patriarchal beliefs. Incidents sexual harassment have seen a nearly 13 per cent increase in the country from 2006 to 2008, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau. Sexual harassment is not an isolated phenomenon, but a manifestation of the larger gender discrimination in society. It is a widespread and everyday occurrence, though seldom recognized as such. Women victims of sexual harassment are reluctant to even admit to this because of social stigma, ostracism and fear of reprisals while men find the issue threatening and uncomfortable and either deny its existence or trivialize it.
This form of violation against women’s right is not just restricted to workplace but most often it affects female students in colleges and universities as well. WomenPowerConnect through this study has attempted to highlight the important changing scenario on college student’s – their vulnerability, awareness, perception and available remedial measures with regard to sexual harassment.
The study was carried out in the 2012-2013 academic session to understand the perspectives of college students on sexual harassment in the city of Bangalore. The objectives of the study were:
- To explore the student’s perception, knowledge and understanding of sexual harassment.
- To determine the extent of sexual harassment as a problem at colleges in Bangalore City.
- To assess how students perceive the concept of redressal mechanisms at colleges in Bangalore City.
The pilot study was carried out with 10 % of the sample size. The interesting findings revealed by the study are as follows:
- There is significant difference in age, as the respondents below 18 years of age faced more sexual harassment than others
- Students from PUC and UG courses faced sexual harassment more than students from other courses.
- Student from co-education colleges faced sexual harassment more as compared to those who study only in Women Colleges.
- There is significant difference depending on the place students reside, where those who stay at their Own house faced less of harassment as compared to students residing in rented rooms There is significant difference in relation to mode of transportation that students’ use, where the respondents using public transport faced more sexual harassment when compared to others
- There is significant difference in relation to dress code, where those who have dress code faced sexual harassment less than those who didn’t have dress code
Based on the findings, there are certain recommendations that are made in the research paper, which also includes need for further research.