September 27, 2023

Woman from Kolkata Faced Sexual Harassment in Zoom Calls


Sexual Harassment in Zoom Calls and cyberbullying is in the rise. As Anita sat in front of the camera for an official meeting what she on the screen was two hairy thighs and chest. 38-year-old married employee at a software firm and a mother of two, Anita had got a text message from her Boss for a quick one-on-one on Zoom.

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Woman from Kolkata Faced Cyberbullying, Sexual Harassment in Zoom Calls

Woman from Kolkata Faced Cyberbullying, Sexual Harassment in Zoom Calls

When she put on her work suit and got ready for the official meeting, she saw her middle-aged boss wasn’t wearing any pants and was just in a vest and boxers.

“It was traumatising. I have been working in this company for just under a year. I didn’t know how to bring it up but that is not the appropriate attire for a meeting,” says Anita from Kolkata.

“It’s not like he said or did anything overtly inappropriate. But the incident made me extremely uncomfortable,” she adds.

Anita alleges that her boss remained fidgety and kept touching and rubbing himself in odd places. The Zoom call lasted for 15 minutes.

As students and professionals have been pushed indoors due to the covid pandemic, it has given rise to online classes and Zoom meetings. This has also led to various form of online harassment, cyber abuse and bullying.

As per reports in March, cases of cyberbullying and online harassment against women and teenagers grew by 36 percent in the past year.

According to cyber-safety expert Akancha Srivastava, the situation has only got worse.

“The problem is that with human interaction shifting online, sexual harassment has also taken newer shapes and forms. And companies at large are lagging to update their POSH policies in keeping with the Zoom call paradigm,” says Srivastava.

Apart from sexual harassment, instances of abusive grooming of children, domestic abuse against minors caught on tape have also been reported along with cases of cyberbullying which include mean comments, uploading content such as photos or videos of a person on the internet without their permission, spreading fake news and rumours and more.

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