Mumbai beats Delhi to become most unsafe for women, reveals analysis
A scribe's analysis of the #MeToo movement in India reveals that Mumbai has beaten New Delhi to become most unsafe for women
As soon as the MeToo hashtag blew up on social media in September this year, floodgates on a taboo topic in India were opened, providing a platform for several survivors to share their experiences of sexual harassment. This hashtag was born from a slew of accusations levelled at actor Nana Patekar, followed by a number of other powerful men in the field of entertainment, advertising and media. Almost a month later, former journalist Sreekant Khandekar takes a shot at reviewing these moving stories that unfolded at the workplace.
How it all began
While the Indian movement originated a year after movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was pinned down in the US, Khandekar feels that both the campaigns, launched to fight sexual predators, are completely opposite. He observes, "In the US, it was the media that took the lead to expose the big-wigs. In India, however, the allegations first surfaced on social media before mainstream media decided to follow up on them. Additionally in India, there are far more anonymous accusers compared to the US."
According to Khandekar's report as of October 26, 2018, the typical offender is aged between 35 and 44. He adds, "While there were many allegations on social media, we decided to restrict ourselves to reports of sexual harassment in mainstream media — newspapers, channels and prominent websites. We then created a chart of 48 men with their names, estimated age, company, kind of business, city, and tried to identify when the incident had taken place. We also used that to guess the age of the accused at the time of the incident. According to this sample, the age when men are most likely to let their roving hands follow their roving eyes is 35-44 years." Khandekar personally believes that social media is the last resort for an aggrieved woman. He adds, "Women take to it only if they believe that their company will not satisfactorily address the issue. It can't be very pleasant to share all kinds of intimate details in public. And, yet, they feel compelled to do it."
Takeaways for start-ups
The case study, published on advertising and marketing portal afaqs! co-founded by Khandekar, also points out that owners of start-ups need to address complaints regarding sexual harassment before the problem gets out of hand. He shares, "Start-ups tend to be energetic and informal. Rules are lax. Most of these rules fall into place over time. And, when complaints do arise, they are not convincingly addressed behind closed doors. So, I think that is one thing entrepreneurs must learn from this. They must follow the rule of law." "If companies cannot ensure that their linen is kept clean at home, they can be sure that when it gets dirty, it will be washed in public," concludes Khandekar, as he signs off. Khandekar has been a digital entrepreneur for 10 years now and has a head office of afaqs! located in Noida with branches in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Also Read: It is time for us to all stay woke
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