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Sexual Harassment Against Adolescent Girls

Definition Of Women In Biological Perspective:

A woman is an adult female human prior to adulthood, a female human is referred to as girl (a female child or adolescent)

Typically, woman inherit a pair of chromosomes, one from each parent and are capable of pregnancy and give birth from puberty until menopause.

Mere generally, sex differentiation of the female foetus is governed by the lack of present, or functioning SRY-gene one either one of the respective sex chromosomes.

Female anatomy is distinguished from male anatomy by the female reproductive system, which includes the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina, vulva.

An adult woman generally has wider pelvis,broader hips,and larger breasts than an adult man.

Woman has significantly less facial and other body hair,have higher body fat composition and are on average shorter and less muscular than men.

Sex And Gender:

People often confused between the term sex and gender.

Sex refers to biological difference between males and females.

For example chromosomes (female xx, male xy) reproductive organs (ovaries, testis), harmones (oestrogen, testosterone)

Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men and gender diverse people.

It is influences how people perceive themselves and eachother,how they act and interact.

Gender refers to cultural differences expected (by society/culture)of men and women according to their sex. A person's sex does not change from birth,but their gender can.

Status Of Women In Islam:

The status of woman in Islam is the same as that of man,but Quran has declared the two to be hominal (03:195);both are equal in dignity and reward in the hereafter.

However, according to Islam,men are men and women are equally involved in the advancement of women and the system of life.

Thus in a Hadith,the Prophet (SAW) said,"only the one who gives honour to women is gentle and the one who dishonours women is the one who is disgraced".(Bukhari Sharif)

Status Of Women In Hinduism:

Hinduism recognises the divine faminine aspect with Goddesses like Durga, Saraswati and Lakashmi being worshipped. However it Is important to note that interpretations and practices within Hinduism can be diverse and there may be different opinions regarding the status and role of women.

What Is Sexual Harassment:

Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual behaviour that makes someone feel upset,scared,offended or humiliated or is meant to make them feel that way.

Victims and survivors of sexual harassment are often told that they are being 'unreasonable' or "too sensitive" or that they 'can't take a joke'.

But sexual harassment is not a joke, never funny and should not be happening.

It can often make victims and survivors feel upset,scared, humiliated or unsafe. For some it can have a serious impact on their physical and mental health and affect their quality of life.

Purpose behind this topic:
I choose this topic because I just wanted to talk to girls who are in this Adolescent period and girls who have crossed it,and try to find out that what are the problems from which they are suffering.

when I was in my Adolescent age, I suffered a lot,I faced lot of things which depressed me for some years. I think it is a very critical stage of life because it's impact remains for whole life but the important thing is the very person becomes so much eligible that he /she can provide awareness to other Adolescents.Now I have this desire to talk to people who are in their Adolescent period that what problems they are suffering or suffered and also give them advise and awareness how they are supposed to overcome from all the problems which they are suffering.

Adolescence period and Adolescent girls:
Adolescence is a stage of development between childhood and adulthood, typically occurring during the teenage years.It is a period of significant physical, psychological and social changes.

Adolescent girls refers to young females who are in the stage of development between childhood and adulthood typically ranging from 10-19 years.

This period is known as Adolescence as it is marked by significant physical, emotional and social changes and also in this stage, development of sexual and reproductive capabilities occurs. It is very critical time for personal growth.

Changes that occur during the period of Adolescence:

During this period, Adolescent girls go through number of changes like:
Physical changes:
 in this stage, a rapid growth and development occurs in the height, weight and also breasts gets developed. Development in body hair and off course the very important changes occurs that is she faces the menstrual cycle.

Hormonal changes:
in this age body starts producing more hormones including Estrogen etc. And they are very responsible for development of sexual character and play important role in regulating menstrual cycle.

Emotional changes:
in this stage, every girl face mood swings, gets shy on small things, sensitivity and fluctuations in self esteem and become more concerned about body image at this time

Social changes:
An Adolescent girls often experience changes in their social lives. They want more independence from their parents and form close bonds with their friends and gets very serious and emotional in these type of relationships.

I have made a list of few girls who are in their Adolescent period and girls who are now in their Adulthood..
  1. In 7th standard Adolescent She said that:
    I always feel shyness and nervous on small things, not feel comfortable to talk to anyone.
  2. In 10th standard Adolescent She said tha:
     "I am not able to travel alone in a vehicle," as she said she has fear in her heart as she was so times sexually harassed in a public vehicle.
  3. In 9th standard Adolescent She said that:
    " there are some changes occurred in my body and her relatives always said "cover your self or use dupatta",,these words often hurt her and as she was feeling embarrassed and thought what has this done to me.
  4. Working in a company Adult She said:
    "when I Ist time suffered from menstrual cycle, I thought that my childhood is completely destroyed and the childish behaviour is me not remains the same I always felt my self awkward and embarrassed".
  5. Working as a Teacher Adult She said:
    "During my puberty period I suffered from sexual harassment by my teacher when I'm in 12th standard and also by Doctor when I'm in 9th standard and because of that very events I felt mentally depressed".
  6. Completed her master's in engineering Adult She said:
    "I have suffered from sexual harassment first time at Market and was with my father and that incident remains me completely silent and depressed".

So, when I talked to many girls (Adolescent and adult ) I came to know that there are so many problems that a girls is facing or have faced in their puberty period.

They mainly talked about theses things:
Problems relating to physique:
some girls said that when they entered into this very stage there were so many changes occurred in their physique like Hair growth including facial hair growth, in under arms and in private parts, increase in height, weight and also enlarged breasts.

My relatives often said to me cover your self properly now you are in your sensitive period take proper precautions and save your self from any bad company.

Menstruation cycle:
some girls talked about this menstrual cycle, they said it becomes so difficult to handle ourselves, it totally becomes burden and the menstrual pain becomes totally unbearable. We even though it why God does it to me.

And also one girl said me that my one classmate used to say me that you can't talk to boys otherwise you will see its bad consequences and for that reason that girl was totally in shock for complete 1year.

Sexual harassment:
number of the girls told me that they were suffering from so many things at a point of time there were so many things in their minds to ask and were not able to tell directly to anyone as they feel so embarrassed and shy.

And when these things were happened at the very time they also suffered from Sexual Harassment by various people like Doctor at his clinic, Teacher in Higher secondary school, in public vehicles, in market and also at religious place (ziyarat sheriff).

As A Student We Can Help Adolescent Girls Overcome The Challenges They Suffer During Their Adolescent Period:

Raise Awareness:

Before we provide awareness we have to educate properly ourselves about specific issues like body image, self esteem, mental health and we have to try our best to understand their problems and if not then at least we can listen them.


encourage girls and help them to recognise their strength and celebrate their achievements, encourage them to participate in activities that build confidence and self esteem

Personal Hygiene And Self Care:

Teaching good hygiene practices,skin and hair care routine and importance of self care

Financial Literacy:

Educate them about importance of money management, saving and the importance of financial independence

Education And Career Opportunities:

encourage them to pursue their academic interests, fostering confidence and promote equal access to education and career choices.

Physical And Mental Health:

Educate them about changes occurring during puberty, menstrual hygiene, healthy eating habits, exercise and the importance of mental well being.

Data on sexual Harassment against Adolescent girls in India:
Sexual Harassment is significant concern for Adolescent girls in India.

According to national survey on violence (2008-2014) Adolescents commonly failed to disclose about the sexual Harassment to their parents or any other adult. 66% of Adolescent girls did not inform anyone about being victimized and only 19% reported to police regarding same.

According to National Family Health Survey in the Year 2015-2016, the data show there are 4.4 lakh Adolescent girls who are victims of sexual violence in which only 0.1% girls reported the case.

There Are Some Laws That Can Be Used To Combat Sexual Harassment Against Adolescent Girls In India:

Protection of children from Sexual offences (POSCO) Act 2012:

This law specifically addresses sexual offences against children including Adolescent girls. It provides protection, safety and support to victims and establishes special courts for Speedy trial.

Indian penal code (IPC):
There are certain sections which covers the dimensions of Sexual Harassment such as Sec 354A (Relating to sexual Harassment), 354D(Stalking) and Sec 509 (eve teasing), there are other sections also we can use against sexual Harassment.

Juvenile justice (care and protection of child) Act 2015.

It provides protection and safety to children including victims of Sexual Harassment.

Sexual Harassment of women at workplace (prevention, prohibition and Redressal)Act 2013:
It recognises Adolescent girls as potential victims and extends protection to them also.

Also constitution of India provides several provisions which can be used against sexual Harassment against Adolescent girls in India:-

Right to Equality (Art 14 of India constitution):
It ensures equal protection for all citizens without any discrimination. It can be invoked to challenge any sexual Harassment based on gender or age.

Right to life and personal liberty (Art 21 of Indian constitution):
If sexual Harassment occurs against any Adolescent girl then it will be considered as infringement of Art 21 and it can be used to seek protection and justice.

Right against exploitation (Article 23 of Indian constitution):
This article prohibits human trafficking and extends to Adolescent girls against exploitation and abuse.

Direct principles of state policy:
Part 4th of Indian constitution provide guidance to state to promote welfare of its citizens.

Article 39 and 39F of Indian constitution:
It ensures safe and secure childhood and 39F protects children from exploitation and abuse and extends to Adolescent girls also.

In addition to this I wrote a poem which represents all the girls but especially the Adolescent girls who are facing or have faced such a critical stage of their life:

Nanhi si Jan hu,meray chotay chotay Arman hai,

Mujy Gudiya say pyar hai,lkn tum, mujy hi khelona mat smjhna….

Mai ladli hu maa ki,Taj b hu baba ki

Sab ki chahiti zaroor hu,lkn tum khi mujy kamzoor mat samjna

Mujy pdna hai,mujy odna hai

Muqablay mai mujy tumsay b ladna hai

Mujy yuu har bar hasta hua dekh kay,sach mai mujy laparwah mat samjna …

Mai Ameira(leader)hu, mai Durya (brilliant) hu,,

Mai EShal(flower in heaven)hu,mai Malika (queen)hu,,

Ha buht bar Hari b zrur,, lkn tum khi mujy lachar mat samjna…..

Mai beti hu,behan b hu ksi ki,,

Ksi ki Izzat hu,mai maa b hu ksi ki,,

Mujy yu khamosh dekh kr,tum khi mujy bekaar mat samjna..

Mai do garon ki chirag hu,rehmat b hu inn ki,,,

Jannat hu, mai hamsafar b hu ksi ki,,

logon ki baton mai akar,tum mujy koi amm insan mat samjna…

Mai ik gulaaab hu,mujy nikhara hai khuda nay,,,

Ha teez hawavon say larazti zrur hu,lkn tum khi mujy bey kimat mat samjna..

Haa pyaar hai mujy gudiya say,lkn tum,mujy hi khi khelona mat samjna…

At last I want to conclude it by these words that this Adolescence stage and problems relating to it is not a joke, everyone must try it's best to help an adolescent girl in order to overcome her from these types of problems. And at least we can listen them and try to solve them in a mature way. And must try to remove this tag "what people will say" and try our best to give all support to girls whether they are our friends, relatives, neighbours or any one else.

Written By: Tamana Farooq

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