Far far behind
I am a bit behind schedule for this month's assignment. It's not that I have not started or have not thought about it.
In fact, from the moment I read the module lessons, I have been thinking about it and have written quite a few pieces. Unfortunately all these pieces have been "written" in my head while I am busy doing something else.
I have scribbled some notes but have not managed to write it down in a manner that I can communicate with my mentors.
I joined a full time job again recently, after a year of doing freelance work.
So now, I have my full time job as well as my other commitments including research supervision for three students and my voluntary work for the library association as well as being a full-time mother.
But yes, I have to put aside time for this wonderful journey on World Pulse.
Finally, today I am forcing myself to sit down and write something to start the actual process of the front-line journal.
My topic: Sexual harassment at the workplace
Angle: Why women do not report & also how and why reported cases are not dealt with in a timely manner
Why this topic?
I have seen and experienced how subtle harassment at workplace can be. It's subtle yet leaves lasting marks on the person who is subjected to it. I have had personal experiences of undue remarks by male colleagues addressed towards me and also to other female workers within the team. From the beginning I have had the forethought and strength to "deal with" these kinds of situations and give the message to the culprit that I am not someone who want to flirt with them just to be on their good books so as to get favors. I believe, we deserve fair treatment based on rules & regulations irrespective of whether we keep our bosses happy in their personal pursuits of flirting with colleagues or subordinates. At workplace, we are a team. Men should be smart enough to look beyond boobs and concentrate on our intellectual capability.
Why this topic right now?
A famous case about a reported sexual harassment incident reported by an ordinary worker against the President of Civil Services Commission (CSC) has been ongoing for sometime. It came to public debate in early 2012. The President of CSC is appointed by the Parliament.
The victim, filed the case at the Parliament as well as the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives.
The case was debated by the responsible Committee of the Parliament, they did some investigations, interviewed the accused as well as the woman who reported the incident. They also talked to colleagues of both and it was found that the claims were more likely to be sound than false. The case was put forward for the Parliament for a vote and after some discussions, majority of the Parliament voted to remove the accused from the Post of the President of CSC. Their conclusion was that CSC is a large group of employees and as such the person leading that group should not be someone who is accused of such low ethical behavior. We were elated.
The problem is that - the accused filed a case at the Court saying that he has been suspended on an unfounded basis.
AND surprisingly the Supreme Court ruled in his favor and declared that the Parliament's decision is nullified.
This shocked us all. At least it shocked me. Now, that was late last year.
This is where the absurdity comes in
Following the Court's verdict, the accused commenced work as the President of CSC.
The person is appointed by the Parliament! The Parliament decided the guy was not fit for the post after the reported harassment case. And yet, the man has the guts to stay in the post after that. AND the government continues to pay him his HIGH salary. Where is the logic in that?
The President of the Maldives had the audacity to say Mr. Fahumy has to decide what he wants to do. What I want the President to do is to say directly that the Parliament has taken its decision as such Mr. Fahumy should not report to work.
No action has been taken against him to date. He continues to be the President of the CSC and nobody seems to be bothered.
Where is the right of the woman who was subjected to harassment?
So my story
With the backdrop of that case, I am planning to talk to the Gender Ministry regarding the mechanism of reporting such incidences and the security provided to the victims; as well as identify the bottlenecks in the effort to provide justice to them.
I personally know an organization where a handful of girls working there were courageous enough to report a harassment case against their boss. They reported it early last year and so far no action has been taken other than a hearing. The boss continues to be their boss. Some of the girls have resigned, some have been moved from section to section, some of them are at the mercy of the boss and are very demotivated to work there anymore.
And one of the girls have actually withdrawn her case. Now isn't that interesting? What 'forced' her to do that?
So yes, this is the front-line journal I am trying to work on.
What do you think?