Participants of the first meeting on the ‘Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010’ were informed that approximately 40 federal ministries and departments had incorporated the Code of Conduct for women in their policies as prescribed by the act .
A Watch Committee for Women was established to monitor the implementation of the act signed by President Asif Ali Zardari on March 9, this year. The Watch Committee was constituted under the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW).
The workplace protection act requires all registered private and government institutions to form an inquiry committee which will take note of complaints from women within those organisations.
Speaking on the occasion, Jamil Yousaf, a member of the NCSW shared an incident that took place at a multinational company. “Female employees kept resigning without giving adequate reasons. When the matter was investigated it was brought to our attention that the CEO of that company was sending female employees inappropriate emails, forcing them to resign.”
Dr Fouzia Saeed, chairman of the Watch Committee and member of the NSCW, informed participants that the committee is trying to make sure that all registered public and private organisations follow the Code of Conduct as prescribed by the act. She added that for the implementation of the law at the provincial level, the federal government had issued notices to the chief secretaries and as far as the private sector is concerned, the law would initially be implemented through the Chambers of Commerce.
“The implementation of this act will be difficult because in order to make this work, the mindsets of our people, both men and women, will need to be changed,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2010.