Mr. B.K. Shivakumar, MD, Karnataka Udyog Mitra
Internal Committee, Shahi Exports, Karnataka
“Sometimes it feels like #MeToo was only for those women who know lots of people on Facebook. Maybe I am wrong. But our lives have not changed”
Radha (name changed), a Karnatka garment factory worker
Radha, an employee of Shahi Exports, a garment factory in Maddur, Karnataka accused her supervisor of sexual harassment. She was humiliated and threatened for not giving-in to his sexual favours.
When he tried to force himself on her, Radha approached the Internal Committee (IC). The investigation ended with acquitting the accused and calling Radha a ‘liar’.
‘This is what happens when you lie and speak against the management’, she was told as she was made to stand in the corner and not even allowed to work.
Radha needs our support -- tell the IC at Shahi Exports that Radha isn’t alone in demanding justice.
There’s a larger issue as well -- women like Radha form only 2% of the workers who are part of the trade unions and have knowledge about the existence of Internal Committees.
This makes it convenient for IC members to shut genuine cases and further promote victim-blaming.
Radha does not have Facebook or Twitter -- this is our chance to rally online support for women like Radha who have the courage to speak up. The #MeToo movement proved that social media can be a gamechanging force in the battle against sexual harassment. Become a part of this revolution by asking Karnataka Udyog Mitra to review the functioning of ICs in the factories.
Big companies like H&M and Zara make it compulsory for factories to have ICCs. But evidently that’s not enough. Harassment and covering up of the act is still a trend.
This is where you and I come into the picture. By supporting women like Radha who are not on social media, we’re letting the concerned authorities know that the #MeToo movement gets behind every woman who speaks up against sexual harassment.
1 yr since ‘Me Too’, Karnatakagarment factory workers say harassment continues - The News Minute
India’s #MeToo Moment Was Groundbreaking, but What Has Changed a Year After? - The Vice