WCC bid to make Hema panel report public

The Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) is planning to continue knocking on all possible doors to ensure that the Hema commission report to address issues of sexual harassment and gender inequality in the Malayalam film industry is placed in the public sphere for discussion.

A day after meeting Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson P. Satheedevi in Kozhikode, WCC member and screenwriter Deedi Damodaran said on Monday that the collective will meet Ministers to put forward their demands. She ruled out any legal moves at present.

“We communicated with Kerala Women’s Commission officials on Monday too and our understanding is that they are moving towards what we have demanded. They have said that they will cross-check the government order regarding the Hema commission and see how its contents can be brought to the discussion table. The commission will also check whether an internal complaints committee is in place whenever a new film production begins,” Ms. Damodaran told The Hindu.

Maharashtra example

“We had appealed to the commission to consider Maharashtra as a precedent, as the Producers’ Guild of India has taken steps to ensure that film shootings are being held in compliance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 (PoSH Act), after the women’s commission there took a strong stand,” she added.

She said the WCC had also in the last few days consulted with other committees to know the nature of the reports submitted by them in the past. It is clear that most of these reports have been treated in a transparent manner. In the case of the Adoor commission report submitted a few years ago, the commission head Adoor Gopalakrishnan had also discussed its contents in the open.

The claim being made is that the contents of the report as such need not be made public as there are sensitive materials which were confidentially conveyed to the commission. But such things can be easily redacted and the rest published. It is not fair to deny the demands to discuss the report with the stakeholders in the industry based on this reason alone,” Ms. Damodaran said.

“As of now, we don’t even know the recommendations the commission has made. It should be an open document for discussion before a policy is made. All of us who have given testimonies before the commission have signed on the written copies of the same, which were read out to us. Other than that, we have no knowledge of what it contains,” she said.

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Printable version | May 28, 2022 3:23:09 am |