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Don’t be superwomen but stand strong against sexual assault: Pune CP Rashmi

Speaking at a talk on sexual harassment at work organised by the Mahratta Chamber Of Commerce Industries & Agriculture, the commissioner voiced her strong opinions on professionalism and work-life balance.

pune Updated: Jul 08, 2017 16:25 IST
Ananya Barua
Rashmi Shukla, commissioner of Police, Pune City asked women to not treat themselves different from their male counterparts.
Rashmi Shukla, commissioner of Police, Pune City asked women to not treat themselves different from their male counterparts.(Pratham Gokhale/HT PHOTO)

In order to curb sexual harassment at work, women along with men need to take a strong stand and be intolerant towards any verbal, physical or any other kind of assault, however big or small, said police commissioner Rashmi Shukla at the Mahratta Chamber Of Commerce Industries & Agriculture (MCCIA), on June 28.

A talk had been organised by MCCIA, called ‘Respect her Always’, about Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act 2013 and as the chief guest, commissioner Shukla voiced her strong opinions on professionalism and how the balance can be struck between home and work.

“If you don’t want to be treated differently at your workplace, then don’t treat yourself differently first. Do not ask for privileges based on your gender. Once you do so, you are opening the doors for others to discriminate you. In the office, you should be equal in every manner to your male counterparts, and for that, you need to be completely professional. When at work, do not carry the baggage of your home and personal life, and when at home, don’t carry the tensions of work. Only then can you succeed both professionally and in life,” she said. 

“But then, sensitisation is the most important aspect to stop such harassment anywhere. As adults, men should be sensitive, and mothers should also imbibe the aspect of sensitivity and respect for women in their sons from a very young age.”

Although advocating the balance of work and home, she strongly condemned the idea that women need to juggle more responsibilities than men. “You are not a superwoman, even if everyone asks you to be one. Do not try and be one.You don’t have to juggle everything. Just try and strike a balance by giving your 100 per cent to whatever you are doing at that point of time, be it at home or at work,” opined Shukla.

The event was followed by a panel discussion with advocate Meenal Joshi as the coordinator. The panelists included Sadhana Khati, chairperson of Local Complaints Committee, Vivek Deshpande, senior HR manager, Yazaki India Pvt ltd., and Pankaj Dahane, deputy commissioner of police, Pune crime branch.

Sadhana Khati, in her discussion, pointed out the need to review the existing provisions and make room for more gender neutral laws against workplace harassment. “There are many loopholes in this act and it should not only be for women, but also for men, transgenders, and other individuals from the LGBT communities as well. Policies need to be more gender neutral and human resources needs to be more sensitive for it to work,” she said.