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#MeToo movement: NCW wants media houses to form internal probe panel

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By Mirror Desk Updated: Oct 22, 2018 1:05 am
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Eastern Mirror Desk

Dimapur, Oct. 21: In the wake of several sexual harassment allegations at workplace, especially in media, surfacing over the last few weeks, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has urged the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to direct print, publication and production houses in the country to form internal committee to probe complaints related to such incidents.

The #MeToo movement has hit the media houses hard with several women journalists taking to social media to share their stories of sexual harassment in the hands of their superiors at workplace. Dozens of people have opened up on their traumatic ordeals after Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta accused actor Nana Patekar of misbehaviour on the sets of 2008 movie “Horn Ok Please,”

An NCW official has said that it has received a number of complaints of sexual harassment at workplace against persons in both traditional print organisations as well as digital media in the past few days.

“We have informed the Secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that the NCW has received a number of such complaints,” the official told PTI, adding that the women rights body has requested the Secretary to issue directions to ensure that organisations such as publishing and production houses involved in TV and film production has an effective mechanism, including constituting Internal Committees in terms of the PoSH Act, 2013, to address sexual harassment complaints.

The NCW said perpetrators of such crimes need to be punished as per law. The commission has created a dedicated email ID to receive such complaints and urged women, who have shared their ordeals on social media and other platforms, 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 Ministry had earlier launched an online complaint management system called Sexual Harassment electronic–Box (SHe-Box) so that women employees in both government and private sectors can register complaints related to sexual misconduct at workplace.

It may be mentioned that former editor-turned-politician MJ Akbar resigned as the Minister of State for External Affairs on October 17 after over a dozen journalists levelled molestation allegations against him and several journalist organisations demanded his resignation pending investigation. He has lodged a criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani alleging her of harming his reputation with false claim. A Delhi court has taken cognizance of the complaint and the case is up for hearing on October 31.

Ramani has said in a statement that she is ready to fight the case with “truth as her defence” and several women journalists have assured her of help, saying that they would testify against Akbar in the case.

(With inputs from PTI)

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By Mirror Desk Updated: Oct 22, 2018 1:05:45 am