Indian Women's Press Corps raises concern, calls for action over sexual misconduct allegations in media

New Delhi: Expressing concern over rising instances of sexual misconduct in the media fraternity, the Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC) on Monday extended support to all the women journalists and employees who have faced sexual harassment.

Representational image. Source: Twitter

Representational image. Source: Twitter

In a statement, the IPWC, said: "The fact that many of the complaints have gone unheard despite being brought to the notice of the appropriate authorities is disturbing and a matter of grave concern. It is also reflective of a systemic malaise where, despite the enactment of the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, the committees required to address these complaints and grievances are either not properly constituted or simply do not exist."

IWPC also demanded setting up of institutional mechanisms mandated under the law so that "every woman employee in media organisations has recourse to redress as and when sexual harassment cases arise". It also pointed out that all media houses have a legal obligation to set up internal complaints committees in every branch office and disseminate information about what constitutes sexual harassment.

"The phenomenon of many women journalists speaking out through the social media has arisen precisely because of either the absence or the abject failure of robust institutional grievance redressal mechanisms that ought to have been readily available to the complainants in the first place. The emphasis, within the Act, is on prevention rather than punitive action, and therefore, the measures for such prevention have to be in place as a matter of conscious organisational policy," IWPC noted.

It also stated that there ought to be zero tolerance for any form of inappropriate behaviour towards women employees. "More fundamentally, the regular sensitisation of all employees towards what constitutes welcome and unwelcome behaviour is a prerequisite for a safe and secure work environment," it added.

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Updated Date: Oct 08, 2018 19:37:03 IST

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