On 5th and 6th December 2019, Martha Farrell Foundation in collaboration with Sangini Gender Resource Centre, Bhopal organized a two-day long orientation on “Prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace” at Women and Child Department Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. This was the first workshop MFF conducted in Bhopal in order to carry forward its initiative of “Making Workplaces Safe” for all.
Sangini, Gender Resource Center works towards promoting gender understanding in the society via workshops, training, campaign, and deliberations amongst concerned stakeholders. They also focus on facilitating civil society action and government programs across the state to bring into focus violations of women's rights.
The workshop had 70 Internal Committee members from different organizations. It focused on understanding boundaries, consent and about appropriate and inappropriate behavior in the workplace. It also talked about demystifying the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, Redressal) Act, 2013 and on the roles and responsibilities of Internal Committee members in enabling conducive workplaces.
During the discussion, the participants understood that as sexual harassment is a learned behavior thus, it is important to have constant conversations regarding workplace behavior in order to bring a change. The prevention of sexual harassment of women at workplace Act 2013 has brought professionalism in work culture.
“The workshop was very useful for both the sectors (Government and private) because each and every participant actively participated in the discussion, they cleared their doubts regarding the concepts of sexual harassment of women. They also understood the importance of IC at the workplace. The discussion also broke their prejudice and myths about ownership of sexual harassment of women at workplace.”
- Ms Prathana Mishra, Secretary Sangini
Therefore, it is necessary to have conversations about healthy relationships in the workplace. They learned how it is the impact on the survivor that matters and not the intent with which the actions are implied. Also, as the journey towards change starts from within therefore, it is important to initiate change by questioning oneself.