Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



The objective of this report is to explore sexual harassment of women in the health sector in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Specifically, it explores women’s perceptions of the occurrence of sexual harassment in hospital settings, and probes women’s own experiences of sexual harassment and incidents of sexual harassment in the hospital environment about which women are aware. The study also investigates the nature of action taken to seek redress, and the extent to which working women are aware of the complaint mechanism outlined by the Supreme Court. Findings confirm the persistence of sexual harassment in the workplace, the reluctance of women to invoke the complaints mechanism, and the ineffectiveness of existing complaints mechanisms in punishing the perpetrator. Findings also suggest that attitudes to sexual harassment in the workplace mirror society’s norms about sexuality and masculinity more generally. The study notes that what is required are appropriate implementation mechanisms that recognize the obstacles posed by power imbalances and gender norms in empowering women to make a formal complaint on the one hand and in receiving appropriate redress on the other.






Health and Population Innovation (HPI) Fellowship Program