NCW slams Assam news channel for sacking pregnant journalist
Reports said that the channel terminated her services as the organisation needed only “agile persons” as reporters and Rabha’s pregnancy restricted her abilities.Updated: May 27, 2020 10:26 IST
The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday sought an explanation from an Assamese television news channel for reportedly sacking a women journalist because she was pregnant.
Ranjita Rabha, a reporter with more than 13 years of experience, was asked to submit her resignation by authorities at PRAG NEWS earlier this month. Her plea for leave without pay was allegedly turned down by the channel.
Reports said that the channel terminated her services as the organisation needed only “agile persons” as reporters and Rabha’s pregnancy restricted her abilities.
“Of all the rights of women, one of the rights is motherhood; however, a recent incident from Assam has exposed the double standards of organisations towards its pregnant employees,” a release from the commission said.
“The Guwahati-based channel blatantly refused salary to the woman journalist and asked her to put down her papers. The NCW condemns the insensitive attitude of the channel towards its pregnant employee,” it said.
The commission said it was “deeply perturbed” by the violation of provisions of the maternity benefit act and directed PRAG NEWS for feedback on the incident at the earliest.
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, provides for paid maternity leave for women for 12 weeks, in addition to paid leave and extension of leave without pay or work from home facilities.
Earlier, the India Journalists Union (IJU) and the Network for Women in Media, India (NWMI) also expressed “deep shock” on Rabha’s removal from her job at PRAG NEWS.
“The NWMI is shocked at the blatant disregard for the law by PRAG NEWS. Its contention that the organisation has no provision for paid leave or any other facility for maternity leave is patently illegal and indefensible,” NWMI said in a statement on May 22 urging the channel to reinstate Rabha.