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.
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