17, Oct 2018 | CJP Team
With the #MeToo movement gaining momentum in India, numerous women in the media industry have publicly revealed incidents of sexual harassment and assault. Unfortunately, per a 2018 report on sexual harassment in the media from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and Women in News (WIN), “sexual harassment in the news media industry is a pervasive and global problem.” The report cites a 2013-14 global study that found that 48% of female journalists had experienced some form of sexual harassment in their job, and that 83% said they did not report the incidents.
The report defines sexual harassment as “unwanted and offensive behaviour of a sexual nature that violates a person’s dignity and makes them feel degraded, humiliated, intimidated or threatened.” Significantly, it notes, “It is the person on the receiving end of the behaviour who decides whether or not it is unwanted or offensive, regardless of what the other person’s intention is.” Contextualising sexual harassment in the workplace for media organisations, the report highlights that media companies, like others, “can be held vicariously liable for sexual harassment within their organisation. This means that media houses can be held responsible for sexual harassment by one of their employees, because employees are deemed to be working directly on behalf of organisations.”
The report addresses various aspects regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, including employer responsibilities on how to prevent and handle sexual harassment, as well as the rights of employees. It details behaviours that count as sexual harassment, and outlines the costs faced by employees and organisations related to incidents of sexual harassment. It also includes sample templates for a sexual harassment policy, and for communications such as posters. The report may be read below:
Feature image credit: Wolfmann