Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has written a letter to Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore over reports that women working in in All India Radio (AIR) casual announcers are being allegedly sexually harassed.
Seeking an inquiry into the matter, Maneka asked Rathore to ensure that a sensitive and fair system is put in place to address any such grievances in AIR.
“I am enclosing a copy of a news item where it has been reported that women working as casual announcers in All India Radio are being sexually harassed. The news item indicates that this problem (exists) at different stations of AIR. The details of the complaints are such that I am compelled to refer them to you for an inquiry,” she said in the letter, according to ANI.
She further said that a responsible organisation must provide justice to each and every woman if she complains of sexual harassment.
“I would like to submit that the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act is equally applicable to a woman employee irrespective of her being a permanent, temporary or casual employee. Some of these women had complained to the appropriate authorities but no action seems to have been taken. I understand that an organisation would have a natural tendency to dismiss a casual woman employee the moment she reports sexual harassment. But this is not good,” the minister added.
The #MeToo movement took off in India after actress Tanushree Dutta alleged that Nana Patekar had sexually harassed her ten years ago on the sets of movie ‘Horn OK Pleasss.’ Since then women from various industries including media, corporate, law and bureaucracy have shared their stories of sexual harassment and assault. The celebrities against whom allegations have been made include former minister MJ Akbar, consultant Suhel Seth, actor Alok Nath, director Subhash Ghai, AIB’s Gursimran Khamba, Vinod Dua and comedian Jeeveshu Ahluwalia.
(With ANI inputs)