Women's groups hail panel to check harassment of artistes

WomenPoW president V Sandhya, along with actress Sri Reddy, addressing a press conference in Hyderabad on Thursday

  • Demand the High-Level Committee should submit its report within 6 months
  • Demands open hearing with the victims after removing the cases against the complainants
  • Actress Sri Reddy demands in-depth enquiry on ‘quid pro quo’, the culture of sexual commitment demanded from aspiring actresses

Hyderabad: The Joint Action Committee of women's organizations has welcomed the Telangana government's decision of constituting a High Level Committee (HLC) to examine the problems including sexual harassment faced by women in the television and film industries.

Addressing a press conference in Hyderabad on Thursday, the representatives of JAC, demanded that the committee should complete its consultations and submit its report within six months.

They emphasised that the panel should look into all issues raised by the artists, the nature of workplace in the film industry, exploitation that occurs even before a person enters the film industry.

They also demanded to form a regulatory framework for the conduct of all film related activities including talent scouting, casting and shooting.

They further sought that the HLC to hold consultations with all stakeholders including the victims, people's organisations, women's organisations, social activists, advocates and devise ways of protecting women survivors against backlash and loss of opportunities.

Addressing the press conference, V Sandhya of PoW, K Sajaya (CCC), Devi (cultural activist), Vasuda Nagaraj (advocate) and other members of JAC, opined that the internal complaint committees at the workplaces are not solving the problems of women.

Rather they have miserably failed in taking action against the persons and managements targeting the complainants by denying jobs and opportunities to them.

They demanded immediate removal of cases against the victims and conduct a open hearing with all the 50 women artists who came out against the casting couch and other grievances in the film industry.

JAC members appealed the committee members to take positive steps on providing a minimum of ten days of work in a month, toilets and changing rooms in shooting locations to the women artists, and regulations of brokers and contractors to end sexual exploitation in the industry.

Speaking on the occasion, actress Sri Reddy demanded that the high level committee first of all should come forward before public by holding a press conference and disclosing their agenda.

Then only the victims can come out to tell their grievances to the committee members. She alleged that movie makers opting outdoor shootings in foreign countries just for sexually harassing the women artists.

She said a thorough in-depth enquiry should be conducted by the High Level Committee on the conditions of 'quid pro quo', the culture of sexual commitment that was demanded from aspiring actresses and difficulties in getting a membership in the Movie Artists Association (MAA).

She said they should pay attention on the sexual harassment in radio and modeling industry, too.

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