As the MeToo movement kicks up a storm in India, with women calling out men on social media for their sexual misconduct in the past and present, a survey has found that though most respondents — around 69 per cent — support the movement, not many (34 per cent) believe that the victims will get justice.
At the same time, about 45 per cent of those surveyed were concerned that there could be false accusations while around 21 per cent, mostly women, felt the movement will not lead to any resolution of cases.
The survey, by Thinking Hats Consumer Insights LLP, a national consumer insights company that conducted the quantitative study via its mobile platform – APPtitude, for indianexpress.com, spoke to a total of 602 people across Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow and Indore. The target age group was 20-50 years.
Ever since actor Tanushree Dutta, in an interview, alleged that Nana Patekar misbehaved with her while filming a song for Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008, several actors, filmmakers, comedians and journalists amongst others have been accused of sexual harassment.
Though the Metoo movement is consistently building up with new stories of harassment being put out online, about 45 per cent of the respondents felt the campaign is a passing fad and would not have a long-lasting effect.
When broken down age-wise, the numbers throw up a fractured mandate. About 64 per cent of respondents in the 41-50 age group felt the movement would have a positive effect in the long run, while a majority (55 per cent) of those surveyed in the 31-40 age group felt the campaign would fade away.
The survey also revealed that an overwhelming 62 per cent of respondents had low trust in the system and felt that present government mechanisms were ill-equipped to handle sexual harassment cases, while 74 per cent were of the opinion that men got away too easily with abuse cases.
The government on Wednesday constituted a Group of Ministers to strengthen the legal and institutional frameworks to deal with and prevent sexual harassment at the workplace. Headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the GoM includes Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Road and Transport minister Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi.
While a few sections have claimed that the current MeToo wave was only about past allegations without much concrete evidence, a whopping 83 per cent of respondents felt the movement was right in covering old cases and not only focusing on the current cases only.
Sadly, only one-third or 34 per cent of those surveyed were aware of the redressal mechanism they could access in case of sexual harassment. A whopping majority didn’t have any clue on what measures or action to take even though, currently, several corporates across sectors have started reinforcing their existing policies on workplace harassment.
Despite social media becoming a forum for MeToo stories, only 15 per cent respondents felt sharing their story online would get them justice, while 40 per cent put their faith in law enforcement agencies.
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