After State Bank of India, now Indian Bank has involved in gender discrimination. This Bank has recently issued guidelines prohibiting pregnant women after due process of selection from joining its services.
In the 29th Jan 2022 Bank Workers’ Unity issue, the gender discrimination policy of State Bank of India was exposed as below:
“The recruitment guidelines issued by SBI Deputy Managing Director (HR) on 31st December 2021 prohibit women candidates with more than 3 months pregnancy from joining the Bank even after due selection process as “they will be considered temporarily unfit”, “they may be allowed to join within 4 months after delivery of child”. This is nothing but gross gender discrimination”.
Again in Bank Workers’ Unity, it was reported that “there was huge protest from AIDWA, CITU, BEFI, AIBEA and Members of Parliament from CPM and CPI and other democratic forces. Delhi Commission for women issued suo motu notice today (29.01.2022) to the Chairman of SBI in this regard. The print and electronic media widely carried this news. In view of such wide protest, State Bank of India was forced to keep that retrograde policy in abeyance”.
Indian Bank toes the same path of SBI
Refusing to learn lesson from SBI, Indian Bank in its latest guidelines for Physical Fitness had introduced a new condition that “a woman candidate, who as a result of tests, is found to be pregnant of 12 weeks’ standing or over, should be declared as temporarily unfit until confinement is over. The candidate should be re-examined for a fitness certificate six weeks after the date of labour, subject to the production of a medical certificate of fitness from a registered medical practitioner”. This is nothing but a gross gender discrimination against women.
IBEF register its strong protest:
This new condition has invited criticism and the Indian Bank Employees Federation affiliated to BEFI has immediately raised its protest in a strongly worded letter dated 8.6.2022 to the General Manager HR of Indian Bank. It has been clearly pointed out in that letter that the retrograde clause is worst, inhuman & discriminatory and insisted to fix responsibility on the maker of the new guideline. It underlined the guaranteed constitutional rights against discrimination in employment based on religion, race, caste, sex etc. It was pointed out in that letter that women should not be seen as child producing machines but they are the makers of future of the nation.
The letter also reminded the Indian Bank management how the image of SBI got beaten when it issued such retrograde guideline and finally SBI had to withdraw the discriminatory circular and underlined that the Brand equity of the Bank was not just measured through business and profit alone, that too being a Public Sector Bank.
TNGB also follows the path
Tamilnadu Grama Bank, sponsored by Indian Bank also issued similar guidelines prohibiting women with more than six months of pregnancy from joining its services and laid a condition that they would be allowed to join only after three months of delivery after medical examination. Tamilnadu Grama Bank Officers Association and Tamilnadu Grama Bank Workers Union jointly protested this discriminatory guideline of Tamilnadu Grama Bank.
Indian Bank should withdraw the circular:
It is needless to stress the importance of gender equality and the social importance and necessity of child birth for the survival of humanity. Pregnancy should be treated as a social obligation involving both the genders which cannot be an obstacle or a curse for women to pursue their employment and career. Indian Bank should withdraw the discriminatory guideline and simultaneously instruct its sponsored bank Tamilandu Grama Bank to withdraw its retrograde guideline at the earliest in the interest of all.