Cindy Gallop: India's men must call out harassment too
A view from Cindy Gallop

Cindy Gallop: India's men must call out harassment too

As women in the Indian advertising industry continue to share allegations, the British advertising consultant and vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement calls for more women--and men--in India to keep speaking up.

I am delighted to see that the women of India are finally breaking silence and naming names of #metoo perpetrators. Sexual harassment and assault is as all-pervasive in every Indian industry as it is in every industry around the world.

To those women who are speaking up: Thank you, thank you, thank you. To those women who have not yet spoken up: Please take strength from your sisters and consider raising your voice, because there is no better time to finally speak out than now. But equally, that choice is yours to make.

I do want to call out to the men of India—men who stood by, watched, stayed silent, participated, laughed, shielded other men—now is your chance to put that right. Please come forward and support Indian women, by calling out the men you know have been giving masculinity a bad name for years.

And to every man, in leadership or below: You need to do just two things. Listen to women. And believe women. If nobody speaks up, nothing changes. And #MeToo must lead to change, because sexual harassment is destroying the Indian economy and India's chance of a successful future through forward-thinking, innovative business and enlightened, progressive society.

The biggest issue facing every industry and society today is sexual harassment—because it forces women out of companies and industries, destroys women's ambitions and derails their careers, by destroying their confidence, their security and their sense of self.

In doing that, this abuse is keeping out of power and leadership the female leaders who would innovate and transform every area of business and society. India cannot afford to hold itself back on every front by allowing perpetrators to continue unpunished and uneradicated. 

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Editor's note: A version of this article was first published on Campaign Asia-Pacific. Campaign India and Campaign Asia-Pacific are collaborating on this coverage and will continue to track accusations of harassment and responses from involved parties. We are keen to hear from anyone who wishes to share their experiences, and we are able to grant anonymity. You can email us at campaign_editorial@haymarket.asia.

 
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