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Mitras Ethics Case Study

One in every seven women working in the garment industry in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru have been raped or forced into a sexual act at work, according to a new report. The report, by the women’s rights groups Sisters for Change and Bengaluru-based Munnade, estimated 60 per cent of women garment workers faced intimidation and violence in “hostile” workplaces. Unwanted sexual attention, being forced to watch pornography, being punched, choked and burnt are part of the daily abuse faced by women employees in Bengaluru’s 1,200 garment factories which supply many global brands.

These instances are not isolated, but are indicative of the darker side of India’s garment industry, a booming sector estimated to be worth $67 billion, which employs an estimated 45 million workers, operating in the poorly regulated informal sector. Vulnerable workers, nearly three quarters of them women, have limited or no legal protection and few formal grievance mechanisms.

You are working as a sales officer in Balkrishna Industries Ltd., a textile & apparel establishment. You notice that one of the female casual labour, Navita is being harassed by the floor-in-charge, Mr. Kamlesh.  And you have been seeing it happen for a while. You have been getting evidence from many corners about Kamlesh’s defiance towards female casual labours.

What will you do in such situation? Some of the options are given below. Evaluate the merits and demerits of each option and choose the most appropriate path to be adopted, giving reasons.

(a) You will advise Navita on how to handle the situation.

(b) You will inform the head of the department after seeking consent from the Navita.

(c) You will talk to the floor-in-charge at personal level and try to make him aware of the legal consequences of his unreasonable behaviour.

(d) You will encourage Navita to file a complaint against the floor-in-charge.

20 marks / 250 words.

 

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