Pakistan’s Daily Times reports that sexual harassment is increasing in Pakistan, especially among domestic workers, students and nurses. At a seminar held at the Lahore College for Women University, Punjab Assembly Member Amna Ulfat said “There is a need to start an awareness campaign against sexual harassment and the government should strictly implement laws that check and control discrimination.”
One participant said that management as well as all employees were responsible to ensure the implementation of the “Protection Against Harassment of Women at Work Place, Act 2010.” Another speaker said that to eliminate discrimination against women, the support structures in society should be strengthened.
Another participant said employees must understand the legal process, and that “If the management of an organisation is not complying with the anti sexual harassment legislation, the employees have a right to take their organisation to court by filing a petition under section 11(3) of the Protection Against Harassment of Women at Work Place Act 2010 and ensure a dignified working environment for themselves and their fellow employees.”
This report seems to indicate that Pakistan is far behind other countries in eliminating harassment, given the general, non-specific nature of the suggestions made at the conference. The law is a first step, an “awareness campaign” is important, and understanding one’s rights is key. Now what faces that country is a long civil rights fight to change attitudes.