The National Commission for Women on Wednesday said it was reaching out and offering help to women who have written about sexual harassment they faced at the workplace. The panel condemned the incidents in a statement, and said it is committed to ensure the safety and dignity of women, including at workplaces.
Since October 5, several women have used social media to make allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against various journalists, media professionals and writers.
The commission noted that many women did not want to go “beyond naming and shaming” the alleged perpetrators, and urged them to file complaints with the authorities concerned.
“The National Commission for Women has continued to make efforts to reach out to women who have come out with details of sexual harassment at the workplace and has offered all possible help to them,” the statement said. “The prevalent culture of silence has long prevented women from speaking out and reporting such cases.”
It also lauded the women who have chosen to expose people who have harassed them.
Union minister and former editor MJ Akbar, The Times of India’s Hyderabad resident editor KR Sreenivas, former Times of India executive editor Gautam Adhikari and journalist Mayank Jain are among several men accused of sexual harassment. Actor Alok Nath was accused of rape.
In view of the statements of women who have made public their experiences of journalist Mayank Jain’s misconduct, we at Scroll in the spirit of fair disclosure would like to state that Mayank Jain worked for Scroll from October 15, 2014 to October 30, 2016, and then from June 12, 2017 to December 31, 2017.
A woman employee informally and verbally brought to the attention of a member of the internal complaints committee (ICC) at Scroll an instance of sexually inappropriate online behaviour by Mayank Jain in 2017. The employee, however, did not want to pursue the matter through a formal written complaint, without which no formal inquiry can be initiated. Despite this, the ICC took serious note of the matter and served a written warning to Mayank Jain, reminding him of Scroll’s strict policies prohibiting sexual harassment.
We, at Scroll, commit to continuing to better understand women’s experiences at the workplace and evolve further processes that may be required to prevent, acknowledge and respond to work cultures that are not enabling for women.