Three months after a student was hacked to death by another inside a classroom of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU),a study has found that sexual harassment is still widespread on the university campus,with 96 per cent of the respondents still being upset over the incident.
In fact,42 per cent of women and 62 per cent of men surveyed believed that the July 31 incident would affect their relationships with the opposite sex in future.
The survey conducted by JNU professors states that only four per cent of the women respondents said they had never experienced sexual harassment on campus. Fifty-three per cent stated that they faced harassment every once in a while.
According to the study,there were only a few respondents who brushed aside an incident of sexual harassment so completely that they did not share it with someone. The study also found that very few had filed a complaint about an act of harassment. Overall,the number of students who protested against the act on the spot is roughly the same as those who ignored it,the study found.
Alarmingly,our campus is one where sexual harassment is widespread. Respondents identify a number of hotspots of sexual harassment,with canteens or dhabas emerging as the main ones. They are followed by the hostels,particularly the mess of the mixed hostels, the report states.
Professor Ayesha Kidwai,who compiled the report along with Professor Madhu Sahni,said the number of cases of violence within relationships was most alarming.
The study found 63 per cent of respondents to be critical of teachers conduct,while 21 per cent respondents reported that they had been or continued to be in relationships that involved intimate partner abuse (physical or emotional abuse or both).
One professor at my centre makes abusive derogatory comments about women in general and particularly about feminist scholars, a female student said.
Another student is quoted in the study as saying,There is a faculty member in my centre who stares quite openly at women,during seminars,and even if he sees me with my female friends outside,or anywhere in campus.
Professor Kidwai said,A lot of students have reacted to the report and that is the objective of our study to create a space for discussion on gender relations.