Goa Journos flex muscles against sexual harassment of Women in Media

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 25 August 2015 20:05 IST

The Goa Union of Journalists has warned all the media organisations of a legal action if they do not set up ‘internal complaints committee’ to probe sexual harassment of women employees, within seven days.

The GUJ has also set up its own Women’s Cell to deal with such complaints while also convening a Special General Body Meeting on 12 September to deliberate upon the serious issue of sexual harassment of women employees at work place.

The whole issue has emerged through a heated debate among Goan journalists on WhatsApp groups and social media like Facebook about an alleged incident of sexual harassment of one woman journalist by a senior journalist.

GUJ, the premier organisation of journalists in Goa, expressed helplessness at its executive meeting held yesterday in taking suo motto cognisance of the alleged incident since there is neither a complaint from the victim nor any particular organisation has been named.

However, viewing it as a wake-up call, the GUJ has taken three major steps, as follows:

1. Send legal notice to all the media organisations to set up internal complaints committee,

2. Set up Women’s Cell within GUJ to  deal with such cases of sexual harassment and

3. Convene a Special General Body Meeting to discuss the issue threadbare

Internal Complaints Committee

A press note issued by GUJ General Secretary Atish Naik stated:

“Following the deliberations, it was decided to send a legal notice to all media houses to set up an 'Internal Complaints Committee' as mandated under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, failing which action will be initiated against them.

All organisations, which are yet to set up such committees, are hereby notified to do so within a seven day period from receiving the notice.”

GUJ Women’s Cell 

The GUJ has also set up a Women's Cell, headed by GUJ executive committee members Sanghamitra Mainkar and Mamta Gawas, while co-opting Adv Varsha Naik as a member.

The Cell, said GUJ, will encourage any victim to come forward with her complaint to GUJ if she is not heard by the internal complaints committee or if no such committee exists in her media organisation.

GUJ intends to offer these victims moral and legal support to take the case forward. The victims are requested to contact Ms Mainkar on her mobile +91 9881 718 506 or come with a formal complaint.

Besides sexual harassment, any other grievances faced by women journalists may also be brought to the notice of this cell, said Naik.


Special General Body Meet

The Special General Body meeting would be held Saturday, 12th September 12 at 10.30 am at the GUJ office at Shram Shakti Bhavan, Patto, Panaji,

The SGB meeting would deliberate upon sexual harassment at the workplace and other issues related to women's safety and protection, stated the GUJ press note.

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