Sexual harassment a gross violation of women’s right to equality and dignity. It is any unwanted sexual attention a women experiences like leering, pinching, patting, repeated comments, subtle suggestions of a sexual nature and pressure of dates. It constitutes a gross violation of women’s right to equality and dignity. On the other hand stalking is defined as a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment made against the expressed wishes of another individual, which causes that individual to feel emotional distress including fear, harassment, intimidation or apprehension.
The legal definition of stalking is defined primarily by state statutes. However, virtually any unwanted contract between a stalker and their victim which directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear can generally be referred to as stalking. Some authorities argue that the definition of hostile-environment sexual harassment is too vague, while others argue that a broad definition is necessary to protect victims of sexual harassment.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
It is defined as a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment made against the expressed wishes of another individual, which causes that individual to feel emotional distress including fear, harassment, intimidation or apprehension.
Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment. Sexual harassment, in all its configurations, is not easy to define. Other than conduct that involves physical violence, it is, to some extent, in the eye of the beholder, for equal employment opportunity.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Each research work is based on some problems. Before starting a research work it is essential to fix the problem. The research problem is based on “prevention of stalking and sexual harassment”. It can be consist of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors to clinch sales deals, the display of sexually offensive posters, cartoons or drawings or any other form of verbal or physical behavior that the recipient regards as unwelcome or embarrassing.
Women play a pivotal role to national development considering their complementary economic support, domestic activities and economic support, domestic activities and emotional attributes which greatly enhances the economic fortunes of the family, society and the nation.
Thus, when faced with sexual harassment it does not only affect their social and psychologist wellbeing but also threaten their level of productivity both within and outside the organizational setting. Consequently, sexual harassment in the educational institution and work places occurs.
The last two decades or so have engendered considered discussion throughout much of the world about issues of sexual harassment in the workplace. They have also witnessed legal and other action initiated by local and international organizations as the European communities, the ILO, FAO, the World Bank and the United Nations. It is not that the problem is new, only that it has been exacerbated and made more visible as increasing number of women entered the educational institute and the workplace.
Outside of the work environment, only the most egregious forms of sexual harassment acts of physical aggression, including appearing dealt with public policy, ordinarily via the criminal court, where an employment relationship is concerned. However, the issue is seen as integral to concerns about discrimination, since a person is targeted for harassment because of her or his gender.
As a result, sexual harassment is tied to policies and to relevant law designed to bar discrimination on the basis of sex. Further, sexual harassment can be one time occurrence of a serious nature or a behavioral pattern experience over an extended period.
CENTRAL FOCUS OF THE STUDY
The central focus of the study is the actual percentage of the students who sexually harassed in University of Rajshahi. In this study, the researcher tried to focus on the number of the harassed students and contribution of the authority. It also included the cause of their stalking and harassment, the physical and mental conditions for this harassment. These are the main focus of the study.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
As far as researcher have gone through, there has not been any research conducted specifically the emerging threats of stalking and sexual harassment and its abuses at University of Rajshahi. However, findings of the studies, the researcher have found to be concerned with the present study in one way or another are summarized below:
T.A. Loeffler said in his book “Sexual Harassment and Experiential Education Programs: A Closer Look” that When sexual harassment, occurs, it exposes participants and staff to increased physical and emotional risks. It is imperative that experiential education programs take an active stance in preventing and interrupting sexual harassment. Experiential education programs need to have a sexual harassment policy which is distributed to all staff and students.
Luise I. Gendes in his book “Sexual Harassment” said Although the public has recognized sexual harassment as a serious issue, there is still no widely agreed upon definition of the concept. Anne Fischer, who answers reader questions about conduct in the workplace in her “Ask Annie” column in Fortune magazine, revealed that after publishing one letter from a reader who was confused about sexual harassment, she received “a torrent of e-mails pretty clearly demonstrating that on this subject, lots of folks are utterly clueless.”
On 15.8.2008, ‘The Daily Star’ in its weekly magazine stated that in the absence of any formal structure of complaint hearing, many Bangladeshi students keep incidents of sexual harassment to themselves. Students fear having their identities exposed to social stigma and in the case of a teacher student relationship the student is usually too aware of the power advantage the teacher has over her.
Revab B. Siegel said in his book “A Short Story of Sexual Harassment” it is in that spirit that I offer the following short history of sexual harassment, as a prelude to a much larger conversation, and as a provocation of sorts: an invitation to meditate, yet again, on what we mean when we say that a practice discriminates ‘on the basis of sex.’
Mike Deblieux in this book “Stopping Sexual Harassment Before it Starts” expressed that sexual harassment is one of the most complex workplace issues of our time. It is at once a legal issue, an emotional issue, a civil rights issue, and a very personal issue. It can be both easy to define and impossible to define. It can result from innocent actions or from criminal behavior.
BACKGROUND OF PREVENTION OF STALKING AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment has its roots in patriarchy and its attendant perception that men are superior to women and that some forms of violence against women are acceptable. One of these is workplace or educational institution sexual harassment, which views various forms of such harassment, as harmless and trivial. Often, it is excused as ‘natural’ male behavior or ‘harmless flirtation’ which women enjoy. Contrary to these perceptions, it causes serious harm and also is a strong manifestation of sex discrimination at the workplace. Not only is it an infringement of the fundamental rights of women, under Article 28(2) of the Constitution of Bangladesh “Women shall have equal right with men in all spheres of the state and of public life.”
Though sexual harassment at the work place has assumed serious proportions, women do not report matter to the concerned authorities in most cases due to fear of reprisal from the harasser, losing one’s livelihood, being stigmatized or losing professional standing and personal reputation.
DEVELOPMENT OF THIS PROBLEM BY AUTHORITY
Considering the significance of social problem from sexual harassment, Advocate Salma Ali on behalf of BNWLA as a petitioner filed public interest litigation at the High Court on 7th August 2008, asking for a guideline to prevent sexual harassment and abuse in educational institutions and workplace. The writ petition no. 5916/2008. On 14th May 2009 the High Court bench declared judgment to prevent sexual abuse of women at the office, educational institution and all types of governmental, non-governmental, semi-governmental and any other organization.
DRAW BACKS OF THE EXISTING SITUATION AT UNIVERSITY OF RAJSHAHI
The concerned authority may suspend temporarily the accused person and in case of students, may prevent them from attending their classes on the receipt of the recommendation of the complaints committee. If the accused is found guilty of sexual harassment, the concerned authority shall treat it as misconduct and take proper action according to the disciplinary rules of all work places and educational institutions in both public and private sectors within 30(thirty) days or shall refer to the appropriate court or tribunal if the act complained of constitutes an offence under any penal law.
The most effective weapon against sexual harassment is prevention. Harassment does not disappear on its own. Provide education and information about harassment to all on the regular basis. The circulation of information, open communication and guidance is of particular importance in removing the taboo of silence which often surrounds cases of sexual harassment.
In order to deter and eliminate sexual harassment and torture, and create a safe environment for work and education and all workplaces and authorities of all educational institutions will attach prime importance to the publicity and publication against sexual harassment and gender discrimination. There must be sufficient orientation before the formal classes start for a new session in education institutions, and monthly, half yearly orientation in all workplaces and institutions. To create awareness regarding fundamental rights guaranteed in the constitution.
Sexual harassment is one of the most complex issues of our time. It not only causes disastrous psychological and physical hardships to the victims, but also corresponding negative impact on the performance and reputation of the organization.
Across the globe today, workplace sexual harassment is increasingly understood as a violation of women’s rights and a form of violence against women. Indeed, the social construct of male privileges in society continues to be used to justify violence against women in the private and public sphere. In essence, sexual harassment is a mirror reflecting male power over women that sustains patriarchal relations. In a society where violence against women, both subtle and direct, is borne out of the patriarchal values, women are forced to conform to traditional gender roles. These patriarchal values and attitudes of both women and men pose the greatest challenge in resolution and prevention of sexual harassment. Workplace sexual harassment, like other forms of violence, is not harmless. It involves serious health, human, economic and social costs, which manifest themselves in the overall development indices of a nation.