New Delhi: As the number of women coming out and speaking up against Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar, alleging him of sexual harassment is increasing with each passing day, several women journalists on Saturday gathered at the Parliament Street in New Delhi to protest against the accused journalist.
They also demanded the removal of Union Minister MJ Akbar, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a number of women journalists, when he was an editor of several publications, a few years ago.
The protesting journalists also sought immediate action against those facing allegations of sexual misconduct.
The scribes also held placards bearing messages that sexual harassment at the workplace was not acceptable and said: “accountability begins from the top” with protesting journalists raising slogans seeking removal of Akbar.
The group of journalists also passed a joint resolution seeking justice for the victims.
“Sexual harassment at the workplace is non-negotiable. We salute those women who have come out and shared their trauma. It is not easy to speak out and takes a lot of courage to speak up about such incidents,” senior journalist and IWPC president TK Rajalakshmi said.
Besides members of the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC), journalists from some print and electronic media assembled in front of the Free School Church on Parliament Street and raised slogans, demanding proper implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.
“We, the assembled journalists today express our complete solidarity with all those who have come out and spoken courageously against the harassment they have faced by colleagues and superiors,” the resolution said.
The IWPC president said such incidents need to be checked also through proper monitoring of the internal complaints committee (ICC).
“Such cases also show that ICCs are either not there or not effective in media organisations,” she said.
Union Minister Maneka Gandhi Friday had strongly backed women who narrated their experiences of sexual misconduct and more as the #MeToo floodgates opened wider with high-profile directors Sajid Khan, Subhash Ghai and Luv Ranjan the latest to be ‘outed’.