To help women understand their rights better, Harry Potter star Emma Watson has launched a legal advice helpline for those who experience sexual harassment at work. She said that it was staggering to know that the free helpline for women in England and Wales was the only service of its type.

This advice line’s purpose is to empower women to exercise their legal rights in the workplace. By advising women about their legal options and increasing their understanding of equalities and discrimination law, we will be able to help them make informed choices about next steps, including how to navigate the legal system with confidence. – Emma Watson

Understand your rights

Time Up UK Activist Emma Watson said that according to the TUC research, one in two women had experienced sexual harassment at the workplace.  Watson said, “It finally feels like people are realising the scale of the problem, and I’m certainly hopeful that with global standards such as the recent International Labour Organization treaty on harassment at work we’ll start to see a new climate of prevention and accountability on this issue domestically.”

Donations from a number of people helped in setting up the helpline, including Watson. The helpline is backed by Time’s Up UK’s justice and equality fund, and managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls. The helpline works on the advice by the charity Rights of Women. “Understanding what your rights are, how you can assert them and the choices you have if you’ve experienced harassment is such a vital part of creating safe workplaces for everyone, and this advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work,” added Watson.

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Sexual Harassment Has Reached Epidemic Levels

Watson explained that this advice line’s purpose is to empower women to exercise their legal rights in the workplace. “By advising women about their legal options and increasing their understanding of equalities and discrimination law, we will be able to help them make informed choices about next steps, including how to navigate the legal system with confidence. We know that complaints of sexual harassment at work are still frequently responded to in a gendered manner that is negative, undermining or can lead to victimisation. That is why the Rights of Women will also work towards dismantling the underlying structural problems that put the burden on victims and makes it difficult for women to come forward through its policy work.”

By advising women about their legal options and increasing their understanding of equalities and discrimination law, we will be able to help them make informed choices about next steps, including how to navigate the legal system with confidence. – Emma Watson

The Right Of Women’s senior legal advisor, Deeba Syed said that the workplace harassment still continues to be a hidden problem, even though it has reached epidemic levels.

53% Of Women Have Faced Sexual Harassment At Workplace

A new survey has revealed that 56% of women believe sexual harassment at the workplace has increased over the years. Additionally, 53% of women said that they have faced sexual comments, gestures, and jokes at the workplace. Close home, a career enhancement platform for women professionals by the name of Pink Ladder conducted a study titled “Reach and Impact of Sexual Harassment Policies in India,” through its International Alliance for Gender Studies. The research reached out to around 200 women from 80 organisations across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and New Delhi. The key finding of the study is that close to 80% women know the policies against sexual harassment at the workplace, but almost 30% women still hesitate to complain to the internal committee about such incidents.

Picture Credit: Daily Express

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