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Of hot news and real issues

Thursday, April 3, 2014
Diary of a Mothering Worker - Entry 100

On Tuesday, print and television news called me for a “gender perspective.” The Chandresh Sharma story, Sat Maharaj statements, how is this hitting the Government, violence against women as an issue.


I declined to comment on Sharma’s mess. I didn’t know all the facts. Men having multiple women is well accepted. It’s practically a male rite of public life. 


However, if our political parties and country had sexual harassment policies, regardless of how the situation began or ended, it would have been less likely. Men would face more rules regarding mixing sex with politics and leadership.


That’s why if I was Prime Minister, one election promise would be a national sexual harassment policy, particularly to protect young women from men who have more institutional, ideological, economic, political and physical power. We have to challenge older, predatory males’ sexual licence in our culture.


Glenn Ramadharsingh was out of order, but I don’t think he was aiming to sexually harass or assault. Still, a woman felt disrespected and threatened enough to file a complaint. Rightly so; she had to protect herself and her job from a more powerful male.


Beyond the violation of marriage, Sat Maharaj should have sided against any violence against women, domestic or not. I declined to comment because I think his sexist opinions get too much media attention.