Sexual harassment on campuses

Published: March 9, 2012

Most universities in Pakistan have coeducation, so instances of sexual harassment are becoming increasingly common.

KARACHI: Sexual harassment is a taboo topic; in a conservative society like ours most people prefer not to talk about these issues very openly. But one should realise the seriousness and gravity of the topic, especially since it is on the rise in our country.

Most universities in Pakistan have coeducation, so instances of sexual harassment are becoming increasingly common. However, girls often don’t complain or bring up these topics at home, much less in universities, due to the restrictive environment or due to their shy nature. In universities there are hardly any policies that relate to sexual harassment. It becomes very difficult for female students to deal with such cases and work in a public place environment. Teachers and students alike have a responsibility to maintain a harassment-free workplace.

A number of steps can be taken to reduce the risk of sexual harassment occurring in the workplace. Adoption of a clear sexual harassment policy is the first step. This should include: a definition of sexual harassment; to state in no uncertain terms that sexual harassment will not be tolerated; that any violators of the policy will face a penalty which could include dismissal from service; a clear procedure for filing sexual harassment complaints; a statement of intention that all complaints received will be fully investigated and that those who file such complaints will not be harassed in any way.

Natalia Islam

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Qasim Sultan Dogar
    Mar 9, 2012 - 12:11PM

    Remedy!
    My sis ,its easy; Just stick to the basics, I bet, you will never be harassed.
    in a country like ours, where there is no direction nor any directer,where we are sandwiched between East and West, where Islam is amalgamized by Hindu traditions, its impossible to define such a touchy issue. Male dominance afflicted by Hindu culture and misinterpretation of basic Islamic teachings has marred our image nit only as Pakistanis but also as Muslims.
    You will always drawn if you try to stay astride on two boats,a fact is a fact, same applies here.So, the first satep is to decide the direction then comes the next step.
    Always welcoming your remarks!!

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  • Inam Shah
    Mar 9, 2012 - 2:52PM

    Sexual harassment, or abuse, is a two way process. I have been studying in co-eds all along and i firmly believe that no man can dare to harass a women unless there is an acceptance, overt or covert, from the female side as well. What is the point of sitting hours in the rooms of teachers, or for that matter, contacting teachers in off hours; if one does not want to be harassed, sexually. The sanctimony of ‘male dominance’ is nothing more than a myth now. If we analyze things rationally; women, nowadays, are much more empowered and privileged than the male class.

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  • Ali
    Mar 9, 2012 - 3:16PM

    Mam, please read the HEC rules for Sexual Harassment.

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  • Usman
    Mar 11, 2012 - 2:55PM

    Dear Mam

    yes it is common but its also the mistakes of girls too where they never draw their attention to their dresses and how they act openly in such places like offices colleges and universities. if you search over this topic most of the girls who are subjected to harassment due to their own fault because what they pretend it would create negative impact about them..

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