Gender Equality in the Workplace

by Admin — last modified Nov 26, 2017 03:12 AM
The workshop was conducted by Samvada at the Centre for Internet & Society's office in Bengaluru on November 15, 2017.

Event details


Nov 15, 2017
from 10:00 AM to 02:00 PM


No. 194, 2nd C Cross, Domlur, 2nd Stage, Bengaluru 560071

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Why is it important for a workshop on sexual harassment to address the larger question of gender equality in the workplace? And how does an understanding of equality help prevent and address sexual harassment?

At this moment in time, we are witnessing an unprecedented “outing” of incidents of sexual harassment and the men who are responsible for them. The worlds of filmmaking and academia are reverberating with discussions on the nature of the workplace and what women have had to suffer in silence because of the ways in which power is distributed between genders.

Now more than ever it’s important for us to understand what sexual harassment is, the structures that support it, the experiences that surround it, and ways of addressing it within our workplaces, so that we don’t lose ourselves in the following: a) a flattened and ahistorical idea of how power functions within our daily work; b) polarisations between men and women that denies all dialogue and self-reflection; and c) purely legalistic ideas on what harassment is and how to deal with it. The 1-day workshop will do the following:

  • Encourage the staff of CIS to understand how power functions in relationships within the organisation
  • Offer historical, social and legal understandings of sexual harassment at the workplace
  • Set up participatory discussion on the experiences of both men and women within the workplace
  • Help carve out a way forward in both prevention and redressal of SH

The sessions will take the form of participatory discussions and activities, that will draw on the experiences, opinions and histories of the CIS staff.

Anita Ratnam is the Founder and Executive Director of Samvada (Bangalore), an organisation that has been working with youth on issues of social justice and sustainability since 1990. The organisation runs 6 Youth Resource Centres/Yuva Samvada Kendras in different parts of Karnataka, and also established Baduku Community College in Bangalore in 2007, as an effort to build alternative livelihoods for youth. She is also Co-founder and Partner at Anekataa, an organisation that works on gender diversity at the corporate workplace. In the last 30 years she has written and taught on a range of issues related to youth rights, gender justice, crafts and traditional occupations, communalism and pluralism, and sustainable development. Her publications include “Traditional occupations in a modern world: Career Guidance, Livelihood Planning, and Crafts in the Context of Globalization”, in Handbook of Career Development: International Perpsectives (eds. Gideon Arulmani, Anuradha J Bakshi, Frederick TL Leong and AG Watts) and a host of media publications on issues ranging from garment industries, caste and development, the ban on night shift work for women, sex education, racism and rape, and gender and religion. She has also contributed to and helped shape the emergence of many organisations that work on human rights-related issues in Karnataka and elsewhere in India.

Nitya Vasudevan is currently working at Baduku Community College (Samvada) as Convener of Centre for Wellness and Justice. She also co-coordinates the project on “Strengthening Gender and Sexuality Education” (AJWS) within Samvada, and conducts workshops with students on gender, marriage, relationships and sexuality. Her publications include “The State of Desire and other flights of fantasy: Sexuality, Pornography, Technology”, in Law Like Love: Queer Perspectives on Law (co-authored with Namita Aavriti, eds. Arvind Narrain and Alok Gupta), “’Public Women’ and the ‘Obscene’ Body: An Exploration of Abolition Debates in India”, in The Sexual History of the Global South: Sexual Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America (eds Saskia Wieringa and Horacio Sivori), “Between Ooru, Area and Pettai: The Terms of the Local in Tamil Cinema of the 21st Century”, in the journal Positions (Rice University, upcoming issue); and a set of columns for TimeOut Bengaluru. She is also a co-organiser of the Bangalore Queer Film Festival along with a team of eight others who work on the festival simply out of a mad love for good cinema, performance and art.

Together, both have coordinate and conducted (along with other Samvada staff) a series of workshops at all the offices of Greenpeace India International, on “Gender Sensitivity and Diversity at the Workplace” (2016).