Advocacy Campaign on Workplace Harassment

Case Study 1

Sunita Pahari and her husband Ramesh Pahari married young. They have a daughter and live together with Ramesh’s parents in Godawari municipality, Lalitpur district. Both Sunita and Ramesh work as manual laborers for their livelihood. As work in the construction sector is seasonal, they aren’t often employed in the same site.

On March 8, 2018 (International Women’s Day), Sunita was working at the home of a middle-aged male relative in her village. At around 1 pm when she returned after delivering bricks, he was the only one present in the house. He took advantage of the isolated environment and grabbed Sunita by the wrist and molested her.  She cried for help but he had covered her mouth and continued to molest her. Her repeated attempts to escape failed until she grabbed a pot and hit him on his head. She then ran outside and cried for help. All the villagers including her husband arrived, the culprit was beaten by the crowd and then submitted to the police custody.

This incident left Sunita sleepless for many nights. She felt that women aren’t safe anywhere. She says, “A place of work should be dignified and safe. I know that most women in the construction sector have been abused and working in such an unsafe environment is a huge challenge for us.