The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) wrote to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor about creating women-friendly opportunities and workspace in the banking sector amid discriminatory recruitment practices by the Indian Bank coming to light. DCW has called out this new policy as illegal and misogynistic.
Its chairperson, Swati Maliwal, also issued a notice to the Indian Bank on Monday, June 20, regarding the withdrawal of a new employment policy of considering women pregnant for three months and above as 'temporarily unfit' for recruitment.
New Recruitment Policy As Discriminatory
The DCW had taken suo moto cognisance of the new recruitment guidelines posted by the Indian Bank, reported by the Free Press Journal.
In its letter, the DCW urged the RBI governor to create directives to facilitate safe and anti-discriminatory workspaces for women.
The bank had posted a circular on Wednesday, June 15, which stated that "A woman candidate, who as a result of tests, is found to be pregnant of 12 weeks' standing or over, should be declared temporarily unfit until the confinement is over."
It also specified that the woman candidate should be re-examined for a fitness test six weeks after giving birth, as cited in The Scroll.
Action Recommended By The Commission
Outraged, Maliwal had earlier voiced that the new policy poses a grave problem as it defies the Fundamental Rights under our Constitution, prohibiting discrimination based on gender and sex. She has sought the withdrawal of the new policy from the Indian Bank and how this policy came about.
In response, the Indian Bank had taken out a statement on June 17 claiming that it has always given significant importance to women's empowerment, constituting around 29 per cent of the employees. It has further noted the apprehensions and remarked that it would take necessary steps to provide more clarity on the issue.
The recruitment policy has also been condemned by the All India Democratic Women's Association, which addressed a letter to Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, expressing concern over the discrimination as it is the second bank to do so. State Bank of India (SBI) had made a rule along similar lines for pregnant women in December 2021, which was removed after facing criticism.
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