Curbing sexual harassment: HEC sends policy to universities

HEC has sent an anti-harassment policy to all universities in light of the recent legislation.


Express February 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD: To combat sexual harassment in universities, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has sent an anti-harassment policy to all universities in  light of the recent legislation.

This was announced on Tuesday during the fourth meeting of the Implementation Watch Committee of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) which has been formed to ensure implementation of the anti sexual harassment legislation.

The commission has been working on a draft policy for several months under a task force chaired by Najma Najam, Vice Chairman (VC) Karakuram Univeristy.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Fouzia Saeed announced that the rules of the legislation, Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010, have been approved.

She stressed that the provinces now have to appoint an ombudsperson under this law for working women.

On the occasion Mussarat Hillali, the first ombudsperson, mentioned gaps in getting her office set up for a smooth operation.

Sajad Sipra, the head of Women and Development Department Punjab, assured the committee that the department is institutionaliding the Code of Conduct and is conducting training to sensitise people.

Maliha Husain said regulatory bodies have notified the organizations working under them for implementation of the regulation, however a reminder needs to be sent out for more speedy compliance.

Rukhsana Rehman, Joint Secretary (JS) Administration, Establishment Division said that dissemination of information about the law needs to be circulated time and again for internalisation of the mechanism.

Television channels were especially identified as being slow in terms of compliance. So far the committee has information from GEO, DAWN NEWS and Express News on forming committees.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2011.

COMMENTS (5)

Professor MK | 10 years ago | Reply @saeed irfan: And how about places such as the US where there are no "Mullahs" and still have 15,000 cases of sexual harrassment reported? Basically that proves your thesis incorrect. Simply blaming "Mullahs" for every problem in Pakistan just does not cut it. I believe instead it is the culture of this area (Indo-Pakistani) instead which is more of a problem. This is very different from other nations around nearby even, e.g. Iran http://www.sexualharassmentlawfirms.com/Sexual-Harassment-statistics.cfm
Dr. Saleem Siddiqi | 10 years ago | Reply All such policies made proved futile and went practically into waste paper basket due to their impracticalities and non-conformance. We being a Muslim nation if we will stick to our norms as defined by Allah in Quran and our Prophet (SAW) Hadiths, we can surely achieve this objectives. Islam has stictly ordered female to cover themselves to avoid intimidation from male folks but it is not observed in letter and spirit. Therefore if you leave an element of temptation for an offender there is all liklihood that Shaitaan will tempt him for such offences. So strictly follow the advise of Quran and Sunnat, the culture will automatically improved - Guaranteed.
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