Time for Action now that Akbar has stepped down

17 Oct,2018


By Your Editor

This comes as a shocker. Or perhaps not. As high as 44% of women surveyed in the media and marketing industry in India say they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, yet men and women in India are the least likely of any Asian country to report such instances, according to a survey by Campaign Asia-Pacific and Kantar. Just 9% said they had reported seeing or experiencing something to employers, compared to an average of 14% across the region. Read more at:https://www.campaignindia.in/article/almost-half-of-women-in-adland-have-known-harassment-research/447704

A group of senior women both in advertising and public relations have issued statements to take stock of the situation, help those who have been impacted and look at the future of their respective practices. Some industry bodies have also voiced their concern. Curiously, some haven’t.

Earlier today, this story was headlined: “Time for Action! Akbar must step down” with a clearly missive saying: “If the BJP doesn’t want a tag of being a party that doesn’t care about the safety of women, it must ask MJ Akbar to step down”

According to the information received, the pressure on the government to get MoS External Affairs M J Akbar to step down was mounting over the last few days which eventually led to his resignation on Dassera Eve. One had hoped that the government had acted more swiftly on the issue and helped create a perception that it does care for the safety of women. Its reluctance to do so doesn’t speak too well for its intent.

This is what we wrote earlier in the day:

At MxMIndia, we believe that MoS External Affairs and former editor and media businessman must step down and let the charges be investigated. The BJP-led government at the Centre must advise him to do it if it doesn’t want to earn the reputation of being a party that doesn’t care about the safety of women. Its silence on the issue can be damaging in the elections next year.

But more than how it impacts the political process, not asking Akbar to go – in the wake of 20-odd complaints against his doings, can severely impact the confidence of other women who have similar tales of woe.

For, if the Union Government turns a deaf ear to the complaints against Akbar, can they trust the government to act on other acts of harassment? Ah, well, they always have the Courts to complain to. Which they will.



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