The event was planned much earlier but these developments gave the Genderlogue a different scrutiny. While most participants did not completely agree with all the aspects of recent events followed by the disclosure of the list, the consensus was: this moment has a great democratic potential in making campuses safe spaces. Talking about this issue opened up discussions on what is and what is not acceptable behavior in the context of sexual harassment at workplace and in educational institutions.
Two strong messages emerged from the dialogue:
1) When we see the last twenty years of work on sexual harassment (1997-2017), there has been a complete exhaustion of “due process”;
2) The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is hierarchical in nature which limits the role of the Internal Complaints Committee to providing recommendations only.
There is reason for hope: there is a growing space for such dialogues. The deliberations highlighted the efficacy and the need for student solidarity. Most importantly a continuous dialogue on the issue is required to move forward.
The Genderlogue was co-organised by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Women Power Connect and Tata Institute of Social Sciences