Announcements

SURVEY

Survey on sexual harassment in the workplace

Mala Ramanathan, R Sukanya, Sankara Sarma

DOI: https://doi.org/10.20529/IJME.2004.020


The Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies (AMCHSS), Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram is conducting a study on the nature and extent of sexual harassment that occurs in work settings among readers of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. This study is being conducted by the Gender in Medical Education Project of the AMCHSS, SCTIMST, Thiruvananthapuram and is being facilitated by the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, through the Journal and its web site.

The principal investigators for this study are Dr Mala Ramanathan, Associate Professor, AMCHSS, SCTIMST, Dr R Sukanya, independent researcher, and Dr Sankara Sarma, additional professor, AMCHSS, SCTIMST.

Participation in this study involves answering a small questionnaire relating to any incident of sexual harassment in the workplace (in India) that you have experienced or witnessed during the past one year. By sexual harassment in the workplace we mean:

  • (Unwelcome) physical contact and advances
  • Demand or request for sexual favours
  • Sexually coloured remarks
  • Display of pornography
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature

(Vishaka and others v. State of Rajasthan [1997 6 SCC 241; AIR 1997 SC 3011])

Answering these questions may cause you to recall memories of events that have painful connotations either for you or for others close to you. However, responding to this survey will not require you to give us your name or the name of the institutions to which you are attached/attended. This process will help in obtaining information that will throw light on a socially unacceptable practice that affects the well-being of both men and women.

If you are willing to participate in this study, please find attached a small questionnaire (see page 46) that you can fill in, cut and mail to the following address:

Sandhya Srinivasan
Executive Editor
Indian Journal of Medical Ethics
8, Seadoll, 54 Chimbai Road
Bandra (W), Mumbai 400050

(Photocopies of the questionnaire will also be accepted.)

In view of the voluntary nature of this survey, we are not attaching a stamped, self-addressed envelope but hope that you will bear the cost of mailing the response back to us. Alternatively, if you have access to the Internet, please visit the web site of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics at www.issuesinmedicalethics.org to fill in the same and submit, thus maintaining anonymity.

Sexual harassment in the workplace in India
1 Please tick the type of work setting you are employed in Medical institution (please specify) – 1
Medical teaching institution – 2
Non-medical teaching institution – 3
Voluntary/non-profit institutions – 4
Others (specify type)……………….. – 5
2 Please tick the profession that most indicates your occupational category Medical officer/doctor – 1Nursing staff – 2
Teaching staff in a medical educational institution – 3
Teaching staff in a non-medical educational institution – 4
Working in voluntary/non-profit sector (please specify)……………….. – 5
Medical student – 6
Nursing student – 7
Other student – 8
Others (specify type)……………….. – 9
3 Sex of the respondent Male – 1
Female – 2
Do not wish to mention – 3
4 Years of experience in the profession (if applicable)
5 Years of experience in the current work/learning site
6 Do you have knowledge of any event of sexual harassment in your work setting that either No happened to you or one of your acquaintances during the past one year? Yes – 1
No – 2
7 If yes, (if there is more than one event that you can recollect, please answer the following questions considering the event that you would say is the most typical of those experiences) Who was the harassed person? Please mention the position of the harassed person (such as medical officer in charge, staff nurse, cashier, patient, visitor, etc.)
8 Sex of the harassed
9 Who was the harasser?
Please mention the position of the harasser within the organisation (if applicable)
10 Sex of the harasser
11 Choose the category/categories of event (s) using the list provided below. Describe the event in the space
provided in your own words
Physical contact and advances – 1; Demand or request for sexual favours – 2; Sexually coloured remarks –3;
Display of pornography – 4; Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature – 5
12 When did this event occur? Within the past one month – 1
Between 1 and 6 months ago – 2
Between 6 and 12 months ago – 3
13 Did you talk about this event to any one else in the organisation? Yes – 1
No – 2
14 Is there any committee or group to inquire into such complaints in your institution/organisation? Yes – 1
No (If your answer is NO, go to question no. 18) – 2
15 If yes, was this event reported to the committee? Yes – 1
No – 2
Committee did not exist when this happened – 3
16 Was any action taken up by the institution/
organisation as a follow up to the committee?
Yes – 1
No – 2
17 Can you describe the action taken?
18 If there is no such committee in your workplace, do you think there is a need for one? Yes – 1
No – 2
19 Give reasons for your choice in the above question
20 Have you heard of the Supreme Court guidelines that mandate the setting up of committees to inquire into complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace in each institution? Yes – 1
No – 2
About the Authors

Mala Ramanathan ([email protected])

Associate Professor

Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram 695011

R Sukanya ([email protected])

Researcher

Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram 695011

Sankara Sarma ([email protected])

Additional Professor

Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram 695011

Keywords

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