SAWM India Supports #MeToo
SAWM India stands in solidarity with women who have over the past few days come out with their accounts of workplace sexual harassment.
We have noted with deep concern the patriarchal and offensive behaviour of men within the journalistic space who have used their positions of authority to sexually harass, intimidate and prey upon women professionals lower down in the hierarchy. In this context, we would like to bring to the attention of authorities the various accounts of inappropriate behaviour by Union minister MJ Akbar in his previous capacity as an editor, and others like Gautam Adhikari, KR Sreenivasan, Prashant Jha etc at various publications. Several women have come up with accounts of impropriety or outright sexual harassment they faced while being interviewed by these editors for a job and/or while working with them.
We have also noted with distress how several women’s accounts have shown that there is a lack of support from organisations especially when women complain about those higher up in the heirarchy. Women have complained about revictimisation and callousness from institutional mechanisms. SAWM India demands sensitisation and better resource allocation for ICCs set up in various organisations to ensure women feel comfortable bringing up their complaints and also get the justice they deserve. The cases that have come to light recently need to be inquired into by relevant organisations to restore women’s faith in due process.
SAWM India also demands cognisance be taken of the multiple complaints and inquiry be initiated to take exemplary action against those named. A fair, time bound investigation followed by exemplary action will go a long way in showing commitment to the organisations’ and government’s stated goals of protection of women’s rights. Now is the time to stand up and be counted and we hope justice is done.