BENGALURU: On Saturday, women workers from around the city – including domestic help, garment factories workers, street vendors, bus conductors and pourakarmikas – will gather at the Kannada Bhavan on JC Road and voice their experiences of sexual harassment at their place of work in an effort to bring attention to the horrific conditions that some of them are forced to work under.
While the entire country has seen a revolution on social media, with women coming out in strong support of the #MeToo movement, those women employees from the unorganised sector have not had a chance to voice their views, opinions or to name their attackers. Forced to work in conditions which do not permit them to quit for want of financial stability, women have just been forced to find their own solutions or live with the abuse.
Over the past few weeks, City Express has highlighted the prevalence of sexual harassment at the workplace for many women employees from different sectors. On Saturday, unions representing these employees will seek to hold a discussion on the issues that the city’s female workforce faces. “Working class women face sexual harassment in the course of their work on an everyday basis, and their nature of work makes them even more vulnerable to such harassment.
Calling out their employers means that they lose their livelihood, wages or face further risk of safety. While the women participating in #MeToo have resorted to social media to call out their perpetrators, working class women like domestic workers, garment workers, street vendors, women bus conductors, municipal workers don’t have any means of addressing such harassment, except their unions, if at all,” a statement from the organisers said.
“Local authorities such as the BBMP and BMTC have ICCs, but the existence of such committees are unknown to many of these workers. The system is stacked against these women workers who experience triple oppression based on class, caste and gender,” read the statement.
The meeting will be held at 4 pm and will have members from the Garment and Textile Workers Union, Stree Jagruti Samiti, BBMP Guttige Pourakarmika Sangha and the KSRTC, BMTC, NEKRTC and NWKRTC workers federation will participate.