The Bengal Network and the Network of Women in Media, India scored a great victory when the labour suit filed by Rina Mukherji against the management of The Statesman, Kolkata, in the Industrial Tribunal was delivered in her favour on February 6, 2013. The Tribunal awarded her reinstatement with full back wages from the time of her termination in October 2002.
Ananya Chatterjee and Rajashri Dasgupta had taken up Rina’s case of sexual harassment at the workplace way back in 2002-03. Rina, who was a senior reporter with The Statesman, Kolkata, faced sexual harassment at the hands of the news co-ordinator of the newspaper. Her services were terminated on flimsy grounds when she dared to protest. Although the efforts of BengalNet and the West Bengal Commission for Women could not get her justice in the sexual harassment case, The Statesman was compelled to set up a sexual harassment complaints committee and institutionalise complaint mechanisms.
Unstoppable Rina has just won the Laadli Media Award (Eastern region) in the web category for her article: ‘Taboos take their toll on women’ written for Just Femme ( www.justfemme.in ), a website that is incidentally run by another NWMI member, Padmalatha Ravi.
Rina Mukherjee vs The Statesman: In 2002, Dr Rina Mukherji, then a senior reporter working for The Statesman complained of sexual harassment. Soon she was fired from her job. Statesman refused conciliation proceedings and the labour suit moved to the Industrial Tribunal. In a landmark judgment, the Tribunal awarded her reinstatement with full back wages from the time of her termination in October 2002.
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