Did you know calling a woman ‘baby’ or ‘honey’ against her will can land you in jail? To inform youngsters about this and many other lesser-known aspects that can count as sexual harassment or violence against women, the Uttarakhand state commission for women is planning to hold special sensitisation camps in schools and colleges.
Chair person of the commission, Sarojini Kaintyura, said many women choose to ignore objectionable behaviour and suffer mental agony, but others didn’t know what counted as harassment or violence.
“We want the boys to know how (and how not) to behave with girls and the girls to realise when they (boys) are crossing the line,” Kaintyura said.
From April to December 2015, the commission received 1,118 complaints from women, a large chunk of which were harassment cases.
Officials said seemingly ‘innocuous’ acts like calling a woman names, making repeated offensive remarks, comments or jokes, displaying sexist or other offensive pictures or messages, and rumour-mongering about a woman’s private life, all fell under harassment.
Kaintyura said that the camps will offer information about various pieces of legislation related to women.
“For instance, for making an indecent body language and lewd comment, a man can get a one-year jail term under Section 509 of the IPC,” she said.