Debra Katz Interviewed on BBC’s “The Conversation”

October 20, 2020

Katz Banks Kumin partner Debra Katz was interviewed on the BBC program, “The Conversation” about the #MeToo movement and the societal changes we’ve seen in the United States. She was joined by Karuna Nundy, an Indian Supreme Court lawyer, who helped draft an anti-rape bill in India after the 2012 high-profile story of a gang rape on a Delhi bus sparked outrage around the treatment of women.

Ms. Katz spoke about how the #MeToo movement has not only impacted her law practice, but also the country at large.

“It’s changed everything,” she explained. “It’s changed how we see our society. It’s changed what women are willing to accept as a condition of earning a paycheck. It’s changed the perception of ‘this is not a problem,’ to one where the world recognizes the systemic and endemic nature of sexual harassment and sexual violence in the workplace.”

Despite recent progress propelled by the #MeToo movement, Ms. Katz raised the fact that “there are still many structural impediments in our country.” For example, women are often bound by confidentiality or mandatory arbitration agreements; the personal and financial costs of asserting claims can be exorbitant; and women frequently face retaliation for coming forward and reporting harassment.

Overall though, Ms. Katz feels both the urgency of the moment and optimism for the future. “Ultimately, I do think the world will move in a more positive and equitable direction as long as we don’t get complacent or too depressed or immobilized. There’s just tremendous work to be done.”

Listen to the full interview here.

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