Tehelka journalist who raised a sexual harassment complaint has resigned today. In her resignation, she said the organization has failed her.
This comes at a time when recently the sexual harassment at workplace law is passed in parliament as it was felt that women are coming up in a big way in our workplaces and it is important to have a safer workplace for them. Even though men’s rights organizations have been lobbying at different levels of govt. and media about the need of making the law gender-neutral it was felt that the time to have gender-neutral laws has still not arrived. Hence the law was made with the name ‘(Prevention of) sexual harassment of women at workplaces’. Where only women can get a remedy for sexual harassment.
Times of India, which has been running a campaign for safe women at every place for a long time and was a great advocate of this law. In fact, their sustained campaign after Delhi rape has made sure that a public opinion is formed towards safer women and need of more gender biased laws for women protection. This public opinion was used to pass these gender biased provisions in the parliament with ease.
Recently too TOI has published articles that sexual harassment at workplaces needs to be openly discussed and redressed and another one on the plight of women who dared to speak.
As TOI report shows that in these cases it becomes very difficult for the woman to continue with their jobs and they resign. We have a case in point here where the Tehelka journalist also had to resign after she has leveled a complaint against her boss. Now the biggest challenge for her will be to sustain the battle which may run for months. Without any job or earning this may be difficult for her to pursue as she battles it out with a powerful journalist and even more powerful brand. Hence it is time for the TOI to show value for what they preach.
If TOI really values the open discussion of sexual harassment at workplace and adequately redressed, they should provide minimum support to this victim by giving her employment with their esteemed group. She was already employed by a leading investigative journal the brand value of which is no less compared to TOI. This will also be their support for the cause of women safety at workplaces and uphold the brand value that claims to care for women the most.
It is time for Times of India to show their integrity, to show the value of what they say through their newspaper every day. Will they live up to the expectations?