Women suffering at work

Published:  12:00 AM, 03 January 2017

Workplace bullying and eve teasing

Workplace bullying  and eve teasing
In a hyper-competitive global economy, where competition is no longer limited by geography or industry, new formidable competitors can arise seemingly overnight and so organizations must be able to inspire all levels of employees to be innovative. In such an environment, one of the surest ways for an organization to fail is to tolerate workplace bullying. Workplace bullying is a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes harm. It can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. This type of workplace aggression is particularly difficult because, unlike the typical school bully, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. In the majority of cases, bullying in the workplace is reported as having been by someone in authority over the target. However, bullies can also be peers, and occasionally subordinates.Bullies not only stifle productivity and innovation throughout the organization, they most often target an organization's best employees, because it is precisely those employees who are the most threatening to bullies. As a result, enterprises are robbed of their most important asset in today's competitive economic environment - precious human capital.

Another form of workplace bullying that the majority of female employees of many organizations are suffering is 'Eve teasing'. This may more precisely be described as the term 'Workplace Eve Teasing'. Eve teasing is a euphemism used throughout South Asia, which includes (but is not limited to) India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal for public sexual harassment or molestation (often known as "street harassment") of women by men, where the name "Eve" alludes to the very first woman, according to the Biblical creation story. Considered a problem related to delinquency in youth, it is a form of sexual aggression that ranges in severity from sexually suggestive remarks, brushing in public places and catcalls to groping. Like Street harassment, which is a form of sexual harassment that consists of unwanted comments, wolf-whistling, "catcalling", and other actions by strangers in public areas; 'Workplace Eve Teasing' is also a form of sexual harassment.

In many organizations, girls are being silently mistreated by male employees by unwanted comments, attitudes and in some cases unwanted relationship proposals. While only few cases are being reported, many female employees are even being physically harassed in their workplaces. This silent epidemic is spread throughout all levels of jobs - from working class employees to corporate levels employees as well. As more and more women are coming out of their houses to work, there has been an increase in the incidents of violence against them. Violence against women, which is too complex takes too many forms and intersects with too many other issues. The issue of sexual harassment with women at workplaces is quite a burning one and the statistics also show an increase in violence and crime against women. The inadequate support system, delay in justice and the social stigma attached to the victim refrain women from reporting such cases to law enforcing agencies.

The problem with workplace bullying is that many bullies are hard to identify because they operate surreptitiously under the guise of being civil and cooperative. Although workplace bullying is being discussed more than ever before, and there may eventually be specific legislation outlawing such behavior, organizations cannot afford to wait for new laws to eradicate the bullies in their midst. In order to survive, organizations must root out workplace bullying before it squelches their employees' creativity and productivity, or even drives out their best employees, thus fatally impacting an organization's ability to compete in this new era.

The author is an engineer  and freelance writer

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