NCW Urges I&B Ministry To Direct Media Houses To Form Internal Probe Panel For Workplace Harassment

The National Commission for Women has urged the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to direct print, publication and production houses houses to form internal committee to probe complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.

An NCW official said that in the past few days, the women rights body has received a number of complaints of sexual harassment at workplace against persons in both traditional print organisations as well as digital media. “We have informed the Secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that the NCW has received a number of such complaints,” the official said.

He said the NCW has requested Secretary to issue directions to ensure that organisations such as printing/publishing, production houses involved in TV/film production put in place an effective mechanism for addressing such complaints including constituting Internal Committees in terms of the PoSH Act, 2013, she said.

The NCW said perpetrators of such crimes need to be punished as per law.  The NCW had recently said it had received written complaints from various women about sexual harassment at their workplace. The commission had also created a dedicated email ID to receive such complaints and urged women who have come forward on social media and other platforms about their alleged harassers to send their formal written complaints to ncw.metoo@gmail.com.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has asked the National Commission for Women to expeditiously probe all complaints of sexual harassment received under the #MeToo movement. The #MeToo movement in India began with actor Tanushree Dutta accusing veteran actor Nana Patekar of harassing her during shooting of a film in 2008.

In the last few weeks, a number of journalists revealed through social media details of their harassment at workplace, starting a #metoo storm in India. Journalist-turned-politician M J Akbar had to resign as the minister of state for external affairs on Wednesday following a spate of complaints by her former woman colleagues that he allegedly harassed them during his tenure as editor of various media publications. – The Free Press Journal

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