Mumbai [Maharashtra], January 29 (ANI): Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Saturday wrote a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urging her to recall the State Bank of India's revised guidelines for recruitment and promotion which stated that candidates who are pregnant three months and above will be considered "temporarily unfit" and will be allowed to join within four months after delivery of the child.
Chaturvedi stated in the letter that such regressive and sexist guidelines will exacerbate the exclusion of women and inequality faced by them.
"I am writing this letter to raise a matter of concern that has been brought to my notice. Recently, the State Bank of India released its revised guidelines for recruitment and promotion. As per the revised guidelines, candidates who are pregnant three months and above will be considered temporarily unfit and will be allowed to join within four months after the delivery of the child. This guideline is extremely discriminatory in nature and debilitates the progress made to empower the women of our country," Chaturvedi said in the letter.
"The present guideline, which allows the appointment of candidates up to six months of pregnancy, provided the candidate furnishes a certificate from specialist gynaecologist was brought forward in 2009, However, the new proposed guideline delays the process of recruitment and promotion for women," she added.
"This comes at a time when the state of India's female workforce has only worsened. According to World Bank estimates, Female labour participation declined to 20.79 in 2019," she stated.
The Member of Parliament highlighted that the country has also dropped by 28 places in the 2021 Gender Gap Index and was ranked 140 out of 156 countries, specifically based on the level of its women's economic participation and political empowerment.
"Such regressive and sexist guidelines will exacerbate the exclusion of women and the inequality faced by them," she further stated.
"The women of our country have been long fighting for equal rights, it's the responsibility of the State to spearhead this fight and not dissuade it. Therefore, I urge you to recall these discriminatory guidelines and ensure that such detrimental policies are not brought forward in future as well," she concluded.
Meanwhile, Chaturvedi has written a letter to the Chairman of the State Bank of India urging him to recall the guidelines. In her letter to the Chairman, she stated, "Therefore, I urge you to recall these discriminatory guidelines and ensure that such detrimental policies are not brought forward in future as well."
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Satuday issued a notice to State Bank of India (SBI) seeking withdrawal of the guideline, that prevents women, who are over three months pregnant, from joining service, terming them as "temporarily unfit".
DCW Chief Swati Maliwal said that this is both "discriminatory" and "illegal". (ANI)