Breakthrough gets mothers to educate sons on evident social evil

20 Nov,2015

By A Correspondent


Every woman deals with sexual harassment in varying degrees in her day to day life. A survey by Breakthrough showed that 90 percent of women and girls have experienced sexual harassment once in their lifetime.


For the most part, young boys and men are unaware of what actually constitutes sexual harassment. Many of their actions that are ‘fun’ to them can actually be categorised as harassment.  Worse still, their actions are justified by friends, family and community with a dismissive statement – “boys will be boys”. This attitude had to change, if we had to root out this evil from Indian society.


Zenobia Pithawalla – Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather said: “The task at hand was to go beyond creating awareness. Society needed a solution. To talk to these young men, we decided to partner with the greatest influencers in their lives – their mothers. It was important for every son to realise even his mother is not spared. So we invited mothers to share their sexual harassment stories with their sons. In the hope that every son will do his bit to ensure what happened to his mother doesn’t happen to another woman.”


Sonali Khan – Country Director, Breakthrough said: “When Zen and her team presented creative ideas this one stood out. Conversations about sexual harassment don’t happen within Indian families. I have a 19 year old son and I asked myself, ‘did I ever have such a conversation with him’? If a parent has such a conversation what will be the impact? Also do boys understand the incidences they call ‘small’ can gravely impact a girl’s life?  Changing the way you think about harassment is key. And this communication tries to do that. Nothing is trivial.”


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