The Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) on Monday strongly condemned work-related harassment of women in the media industry and stressed on the need to establish and ensure harassment-free working environments to enable woman journalists to work freely and fearlessly.
In a statement released on Monday, IWPC noted with deep concern the report about a young woman journalist attempting suicide following alleged harassment by her seniors.
As per the note left behind by the journalist, abrupt termination of her contract as well as sustained harassment appear to be the reasons behind her taking such a drastic step, the statement said.
“Irrespective of whatever the specific reasons may have been, it has been observed in general that there has been an increase in cases of overt and covert forms of harassment of employees, including women, where the temporary nature of work contracts are often used as a means of intimidation,” it said.
The IWPC is of the opinion that the media, considered as an ombudsman and watchdog of society, needs to establish and ensure fair and harassment-free working environments in their own establishments and put in place secure terms of employment so as to enable journalists in print, electronic and online media to work freely and fearlessly, the statement said.
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The Corps called for laws governing working conditions of journalists in the electronic media to be framed and passed by the government similar to the statutory norms like the Working Journalists Act and the Newspaper Employees Act covering the print media.