A woman is not a born woman, she is made a one
- Simon de Beauvioin
Eve Teasing - The Concept
People say ‘ women belong to the weaker sections of the community’. Hence men
dominate women and some times men exploit women for their own pleasure. Women
face numerous of types of harassment. Among the harassments, sexual harassment
is common in many parts of the world. Harassment in public places, by known and
unknown persons, which affect women, is called eve teasing in India.
Eve teasing literally means annoying or irritating women. It is referred to as
an act of harassing women playfully or maliciously, physically or
pshycholgically to make fun, irritate, provoke, annoy, embarrass through
comments, remarks, gestures, jokes, physical contact and taunts. it is a unique
and euphemistic expression for south Asia, especially in India. It is not used
in Britain or in European countries.
In the case of Rupan Bajaj & Another vs. KPS gill [i]the supreme court has
explained the meaning of ‘modesty’ in relation to women. More and more girl
students, women etc. go to educational institutions, work places etc. and their
protection is of extreme importance to a civilized and cultured society. The
experiences of women and girl children in over-crowded buses, metros, trains
etc. are horrendous and a painful ordeal.
Today women take a leadership role almost in all sectors, but eve teasing is
still a problem in the society. women are affected physically, psychologically
and socially. They feel disgraced and they prefer to forget the incident. Those
who are affected by eve teasing, never bother to question the man, or oppose the
act they take a submissive and tolerant role because they think it will spoil
their name further. It is interesting to note that some men tease not only women
but also men.
Eve teasing in India- some facts and figures
- According to the report of NCRB 2019[ii] (National Crime Record Bureau)
A total of 4,05,861 cases of crime against women were registered during 2019,
showing an increase of 7.3% over 2018 (3,78,236 cases). Majority of cases under
crime against women under IPC were registered under ‘cruelty by husband or his
relatives’ (30.9), followed by ‘assault on women with intent to outrage her
modesty’ (21.8%), ‘kidnapping & abduction of women’ (17.9%) and ‘rape’ (7.9%).
The crime rate registered per lakh women population is 62.4 in 2019 in
comparison with 58.8 in 2018, says the NCRB report.
- Indian Penal Code deals eve-teasing cases through its sections 354 and
509 which show an increase of 13.05 percent in assault or criminal force
against woman with intent to outrage her modesty; and 18.9 percent decrease
in incidents of Insulting modesty of woman, respectively, from the year 2015
- An increasingly large number of college going women taking public
transportation in Delhi have resorted to carrying pins, pen knives , and
even daggers as a deterrent. Others have taken self defence classes.
- A recent survey revealed that approximately 90 percent of college women
in New Delhi have experienced sexual harassment in some shape or form. Yet ,
it is estimated that only about 1 in 10000 eve teasing occurrences are
reported to the police.
- 98 percent of the women have stated that sexual harassment on roads has
affected their personal or academic development in one way or the other.
These facts may appear untrue and horrifying but they clearly show the plight of
women in India. The condition is deteriorating everyday.
The psychology behind Eve teasing
Many psychologist believe that sex, love and fun is not the only motive that men
indulge in this behaviour. Eve teasing is closely related to the patriarchal
mindset of the Indian male. Men are raised to believe that they are more
powerful physically and emotionally than women. They feel that they are doing
nothing wrong just having some fun.
It is also considered a s a growing social problem. This is due to various
social changes like urbanization, influence of western culture, modernization,
and changes in status of women’s role, women’s liberation, and changes due to
democracy. Eve teasing is felt by the society at the macro level as a social
deviance and at individual micro level as a behaviour problem.
In India, eve teasing affects every woman who dares to come out of her home, in
some form or the other. Every woman has a private space. Any person entering her
private space causes trouble to her or injures her. It is noticed in all places
like Beaches, roads, cinema halls, buses and in Educational institutions.it is a
manifestation of patriarchal masculinity. Gender segregation and attitude of
boys are the cause of this teasing behaviour.
Eve teasing is not a problem of
the affected victim alone. It is a problem of parents, spouses, and close
relatives of the victim. Holi is an important festival in India. As a part of
the celebration, people play by throwing colors on others. But using this
opportunity women are teased or harassed. This shows that eve teasing may happen
at any place any time and in any situation.
Teachers of psychology and social scientists believe eve teasing to be a result
of the frustrations suffered by a majority of youth. Disappointed by the
unbecoming attitude of teachers and indifferent parents , they yearn for an
outlet to vent their aggression and depression .Besides , many who do not
inherit good values tend to indulge in acts of sexual harassment.
Eve teasing can be seen as a rite of passage for boys on their way to becoming
men. Considering that sex is not the only motive , it would be reasonable to
conclude that the psychodynamics of eve teasing are closely linked to the issue
of masculinity and the masculine agenda.
It may appear paradoxical that in a country like India where the mother is
generally deified, the growing male child does not learn to respect the members
of his mother's gender. But it is because of this deification that the boy finds
it easy to slip into the patriarchal mode , for he does not relate to his mother
as a woman, but as a helpless and martyred dependent who needs to be pitied and
The vocal emergence of feminism has also pushed the contemporary male a little
on the back foot , not only the women are threatening to encroach on his male
dominion, but also because he does not have any idea about how he can counter
encroach on hers. So he moves squarely into the adversarial position, something
he is instinctively comfortable with and , during adolescence, focuses not just
on how he can express himself sexually, but also on how he can claim his
As part of his evolution into the patriarchal role , an arena
is required in which his valour can be expressed. Organized sport and cultural
activities are examples of these , but require some talent and application.
Whereas standing with a group of peers at a bus stop or in a Cineplex, passing
lewd remarks,gesticulating lasciviously and generally behaving obnoxiously
requires mere numbers, and when the hapless girl is in no position to defend
herself despite visible evidence of distress,domination gets established.
||Forms of Teasing
||Blocking the way
||Use of Nick name
||Patting the back
||Patting the bottom
||Proposal of marriage
||Using bad words
||Pulling the dress
||Touching with stick
Legal aspects of Eve Teasing - whether it’s a criminal wrong or civil wrong?
Eve teasing is a civil wrong. The perpetrator causes injury to the plaintiff
mentally as well as physically. It is an encroachment on the Women’s Right to
Privacy and her dignity. Though there are certain provisions in the Indian Penal
Code, which describes and define eve teasing.
Section 294 [iii]of IPC (Indian Penal Code) says whoever causes annoyance of
other, or does any obscene act in any public place or sings recites or utters
any obscene song ballad or words in or near any public place shall be punished
with imprisonment of whether description for a term which may be extended to
three months or with fine or both.
Section 354 [iv] of IPC says whoever assaults or uses criminal forces to any
women, intending to outage or knowing to be likely that he will thereby outrage
her modesty shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term
which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
Section 509 [v] of IPC says whoever intends to insult the modesty of any woman,
utters any words, any sounds or gesture, or exhibits object intending that such
gesture or subject shall be seen by such woman or intrudes upon the privacy of
such shall pe punished with simple imprisonment for a term which any extend to
one year or with fine or with both.
There are certain provisions for the preventions of Sexual Assault cases;
ironically, the term eve teasing is not mentioned anywhere in the Indian Penal
Code; as Eve teasing is an attitude, mindset, and a particular set of behaviour.
The honourable Apex court in the case of Deputy Inspector General of Police & Anr. vs. S. Samuthiram
[vi] stated that Eve-Teasing is a euphemism, a conduct
which attracts penal action but it is seen, only in one State, a Statute has
been enacted, that is State of Tamil Nadu to contain the same, the consequence
of which may at times drastic. Eve-teasing led to the death of a woman in the
year 1998 in the State of Tamil Nadu which led the Government bringing an
ordinance, namely, the Tami Nadu Prohibition of Eve-Teasing Ordinance, 1998,
which later became an Act, namely, the Tamil Nadu Prohibition
of Eve-Teasing Act, 1998 [for short ‘the Eve-Teasing Act’].
The Government are of
the view that eve-teasing is a menace to society as a whole and has to be
eradicated. With this in view, the Government decided to prohibit eve-teasing in
the State of Tamil Nadu. Accordingly, the Tamil Nadu Prohibition
of Eve-teasing Ordinance, 1998 (Tamil Nadu Ordinance No. 4 of 1998), the
objective of this legislative piece is to prohibit eve- teasing in any place in
the state of Tamil Nadu.
In vishaka vs state of Rajasthan
[vii], the supreme court made guidelines for
sexual harassment which includes such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour
(whether directly or by implication) such as - physical contact and advances, a
demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing
pornography, any other unwelcome physical verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual
The Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013 [viii] brought changes to the Indian Penal
Code, 1860 by making sexual harassment an expressed offence under Section 354A.
Under this section, the offender will be punishable with imprisonment of 3 years
and fine or both. offences like disrobing a woman without her consent, stalking
or any other type of sexual offence by a person are introduced by this Act.
Section 354 D [ix] States:
Whoever commits the offence of stalking shall be
punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term
which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; and be
punished on a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment of either
description for a term which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable
Sexual harassment like eve- teasing of women amounts to violation of rights
guaranteed under Articles 14, 15 and 21 as well.
Eve teasing is a wrong against the honour ,dignity and self respect of a woman.
It hurts her immensely. It should be treated as an independent offence. We need
strict rules and regulations to control it. There is a strong need for combating
this fast growing problem. eve-teasing might sound less harmful crime but it can
turn into a grievous one if not stopped at an early stage. In a country like
India where women are worshipped at par with the Gods, this kind of behaviour
against women is unjust, unfair and Hippocratic. We should be respectful to
women. Then only we would be on the lines of happiness, prosperity and success.
"Yatra Naryantu Pujyante Tatra Ramyate Devtaa
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Hemlata Singh
- Rupan Bajaj & Another vs. KPS gill
- Report of NCRB 2019
- Section 294
- Section 354
- Section 509
- Deputy Inspector General of Police & Anr. vs. S. Samuthiram
- vishaka vs state of Rajasthan
- The Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013
- Section 354 D
- Law Student at University School of Law and Legal Studies, GGSIPU
Authentication No: JU34232432729-1-0621