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Pregnant Women Have Equal Rights, Bhatnagar Says

Pregnant Women Have Equal Rights, Bhatnagar Says
Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Veena Bhatnagar.
March 12
11:13 2017

Employed pregnant women have equal opportunities and rights, says the Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Veena Bhatnagar.

Her comments follows the forced resignation of two pregnant women from two separate insurance companies recently.

The report has shocked authorities like the Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union and the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre. They were concerned that such incidents were occurring.

Ms Bhatnagar said: “For pregnant women, it’s not justifiable for whatever reasons and if it’s solely for being pregnant, they were told to resign – then it’s not justified.”

When the report was posted yesterday on the Fiji Sun Online Facebook page, a 25-year-old woman who wished to remain anonymous shared a similar experience while employed at a local supermarket.

She claims she was told to resign by the supermarket’s resource manager in May 2015, while she was five months pregnant with her second child, who is now a year old.

“I was a cashier there for a year and I never complained about anything until I notified our head cashier about taking two weeks break,” she said.

She also claimed there were a number of issues even though she had told the head cashier she was pregnant.

She said she was also questioned by the human resources manager about her two-week of absence and her dress code to work.

“I was surprised, he never even gave me a chance to even think – he just told me to resign,” she said.

The woman said she never knew there were laws and rights that protected the interest of workers, like herself, until she read the article in the Fiji Sun yesterday.

“After resigning it affected me financially because I was not able to buy things for my baby and I’m still unemployed,” she said.

Fortunately, her husband is employed. The woman claims she knows of other women who allegedly faced the same treatment at the supermarket

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: mere.satakala@fijisun.com.fj

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