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Editors Guild of India condemns incidents of sexual harassment on women journalists

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Terming it a ‘predatory conduct by men’, the Editors Guild of India on Tuesday condemned the incidence of alleged sexual harassment and assault on women journalists by their male colleagues.

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In a statement, it said, “The Editors Guild of India has noted with concern and dismay the incidence of alleged sexual harassment and assault on women journalists by their male colleagues. It unequivocally condemns all predatory conduct by such men. It is worse when the perpetrators also happen to be enjoying senior or supervisory positions in the profession.”

“The Guild also expresses its gratitude and solidarity towards women journalists who have displayed the courage to bring these critical issues in public debate,” it added.

“The Guild is also committed to ensuring that the legal rights of either the victims or the accused are not violated. A fair, just and safe working environment is essential if press freedoms are to flourish. The newsroom in our profession is a relatively informal, free-spirited and hallowed space. It must be protected,” the statement read.

“The Guild extends its total support to all women journalists, who suffered a disadvantage in their careers, physical or mental trauma, as a result of any sexual predation,” the statement noted.

The Guild also called upon the media organisations to hold unbiased inquiries into all reported cases. “This is the time for all of us to strengthen our internal processes. It includes training of staff and improving awareness, as mandated by the law and even beyond. Anybody found guilty of sexual harassment or assault should be punished as provided in the law,” it added.

The Guild, in the end, said, “The newsroom is the most inclusive work space in terms of gender. It is our responsibility as media leaders to ensure that it remains safe and fair for all, especially women.”

Notably, the statement from The Guild of India comes a day after at least four journalists made allegations of sexual harassment against Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar. Priya Ramani was the first to expose MJ Akbar without taking his name as the ‘unnamed editor’. She accused him of inappropriate behaviour and had written about it in an article in Vogue India in October 2017.

Also Read: #MeToo: Four women journalists accuse MJ Akbar of sexual harassment

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