indian factory workers forced to strip naked over used sanitary towel

Claire Cohen, Daily Telegraph

An estimated 45 women have allegedly been forced to submit to a strip search at a private firm in India, after supervisors found a soiled sanitary towel in the office lavatory.

A female manager reportedly discovered the used pad and demanded to know which of the employees had left it there.

When no one would admit to disposing of the item, the employees were reportedly ordered to strip and submit to an intrusive and humiliating examination to discover who was menstruating.

The workers, all aged under 50, work at rubber company Asma Rubber Private Limited in the Kochi Special Economic Zone. The facility, in the south-west region of Kerala, makes latex and surgical gloves.

The incident is alleged to have taken place on December 10, but was only registered with police at the weekend, after NGO the Kerala Women’s Commission intervened.

Authorities told India Express that the supervisors are to be charged with “outraging the modesty” of the women, a crime that carries a prison sentence of up to two years.

The female employees involved are reportedly concerned that the strip search was conducted in room fitted with CCTV cameras. But an official at the rubber company said:

"We have checked the video footage of that day and nothing seems to be amiss. We have submitted an internal report and the videos to the local police."

He went on to claim that the women disliked their supervisors and that the whole thing was a ruse to get them sacked.

"We had to ask the police to file charges," said Dr. Lissy Jose from the Women's Commission.

"We have asked for a full report on the incident from the police as well as from the private company."

Some reports suggest that local women are planning marches to demand action against the alleged culprits.




Clair Cohen, Daily Telegraph, 02/01/2015