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October 22, 2019

Training for implementation of Anti- Sexual Harassment law

Islamabad

October 22, 2019

Islamabad:Representatives of different organisations dismissed the need to amend Protection against Harassment of women at the Workplace Act, 2010.

They expressed these views at a three-day residential training for effective implementation of Anti-Sexual harassment law organised by Mehergarh. Around 23 participants from 12 organisations participated in the training. Most of the participants were Standing Inquiry Committee Members and wanted to learn how to conduct inquiries in a responsible manner so that they could provide justice to both the complainant and the accused. These Committee Members were representatives of COMSATS University Attock, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Islamic Relief Pakistan, DAI – Pakistan and many other organisations.

Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010 gives a lot of authority to Inquiry Committee Members. The Inquiry Committee Members, who had already handled a numbers of cases in their organizations, asked a lot of questions regarding the difficult cases they have had to handle so that they could do a better job in the future.

Participants termed the law comprehensive, very simple and easy to use. They said that problems can arise if Inquiry Committee Members or senior officials of an organization don’t really intend to resolve these issues in their organizations because they want to protect their harasser friends, especially if they are in high positions. “Those issues would not be because of any drawbacks in the law, but because of the ethics and intentions of people misusing it,” said one participant.

“I am a lawyer and have studied this law, but after listening to the history of how and why this law was made, it has now come to life for me and I will do everything in my power as a Committee Member to address this serious and stigmatized issue in my university”, said a participant, Khawaja Muhammad Ali Butt.

HoD of Mathematics department of COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) Attock, Dr. Muhammad Awais said that awareness and implementation of this law needs to increase exponentially so that maximum people can benefit from it.

Executive Director of Mehergarh Maliha Husain requested all the participants to effectively implement this law within their organisations. Dr. Fouzia Saeed was invited to give out the certificates and copies of her book “Working with Sharks: Countering Sexual Harassment in our Lives” to every participant.

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