At a day-long meet, Mahila Suraksha Sangoshti, held here on Sunday, state Minister for Women and Child Development Vasuben Trivedi noted that increasing avenues of jobs at workplaces only gave further rise to harassment of women which needed to be addressed seriously.
The meet, organised jointly by Business Women Wing of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Stree Chetna social organisation, had a large presence of women mainly from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mahila Morcha and RSS. The meet discussed the problem of harassment to women, ways to tackle it and training in self- defence and confidence building.
Trivedi said it was for the mother to build strong moral character of children from a young age, if crime against women were to be stemmed. She said that society had become victims of a cultural onslaught. “In our zeal to be equal to males, the family spirit was diminishing”, she said. Assistant Commissioner of Police (crime branch) Dr Kanan Desai said that women wearing short clothes did not give males the right to harass them but at the same time, women should also use their sense of discretion in wearing dresses.
She said that every woman should be well equipped with self-defence techniques, develop self confidence and be free from fear of harassment. She said the police department was just a phone call away for victims. She said the police had been holding seminars at big institutions and slums for awareness about sexual harassment to women and girls at work places and colleges. Similar meets would be held at schools and colleges in the city for female students shortly, she said.
Gujarat Mahila Ayog chairperson Leelaben Ankolia said the current Mahila Suraksha Samiti which was functioning at district level only, would be taken to the taluka level in coming days.
The Ayog had received 8,732 complaint since inception in 2008, of which 7,732 were resolved. GCCI past president Shankarbhai Patel felt that events to address safety concerns of women even after sixty years of Independence was regrettable.