'Breaking The Silence' encourages women to speak out against harassment

New Delhi, Dec 20 : Sexual harassment at the workplace is grabbing headlines, thanks to cases against some prominent names from various sectors. Filmmaker Ishani K. Dutta shared the same story with her documentary "Breaking The Silence" stressing on the fact that women should speak up against such atrocities.

It speaks about the life of women in male dominated sectors like transport and the problems they face.

"Life for transport sector workers is tough, to say the least. It takes an immense amount of courage for women to step into this dominantly male domain. Once men sense that they are threatened by the presence of women in their space, they resort to means that would make the women as uncomfortable as possible," said Dutta.

"The film looks at sexual harassment of women at the workplace and one of the focus areas is transport sector. The film aims to create awareness and inspire women to speak out (against harassment)," added the filmmaker for whom making the documentary was not a cake walk.

This is so because women were not willing to speak on camera, she said.

"They were comfortable speaking to us off the camera. However, we managed to make the film and we want to give a message that it's high time women should raise their voices and speak up if there is something wrong happening with them," said Dutta.

The half-hour film was screened Friday on the second day of The Woodpecker Film Festival & Forum at the India Habitat Centre here.

The film was followed by an open forum, titled "Sexual Harassment at Workplace: Need for Cultural Change". The panelists included filmmaker Madhurima Anand, activist Vani Subramaniam, researcher and consultant Anagha Sarpotdar and Dutta herself.

They argued that it is high time women got together to fight for their rights.

"Just because women don't complain, they get humiliated. If you are not comfortable with someone or something, you have the right to object," said Sarpotdar and added that it will help in curbing major incidents.

--IANS (Posted on 20-12-2013)

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