Trolling: 'Harassment act should cover social media'

An increasing number of women are now classified as harassment victims on social media in Pakistan.

Maha Mussadaq December 12, 2013
Harassment act should cover social media, say speakers. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID.


With an increasing number of women now classified as harassment victims on social media in Pakistan, experts suggested that the government consider adding cyber crime to the Protection of Women against Harassment at Workplace Act.

While some consider it a crude joke to upload illicit information of women in universities and workplaces on social websites, the consequences of sharing such information was igniting a new debate on the access and availability of information.

The seminar, titled ‘Social Media: New Dimension of Violence against Women’ by the Gender Equity Program (GEP) of Aurat Foundation, shed light on different aspects of cybercrime that were immeasurably hurting young girls, who face subsequent losses of personal freedom, mobility, and most importantly, educational and employment opportunities.

“What was put on a social media gossip page ruined my life,” said Komal, a student who was abused by her family members when they came across a false rumor shared on a college gossip page.

“We must educate our girls at college level about their privacy settings on the various social websites,” said Social Media Expert Rubab Khan.

University of Sindh Institute of Gender Studies Director Misbah Bibi urged the Higher Education Commission to issues directives to all university administrations to control the rising trend of cybercrime against girls in educational institutions.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2013.

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Sayeeda Mushtaq | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend

The weaker sex has always remained a harassment victim in our society, one way or another. We can blame it on illiteracy easily. But the fact remains that we are all aware of its existence in our society. A change in overall attitude is required to address it. No law will be effective unless there is change in our personal attitude. We like gossiping about all such matters and derive a sick pleasure out of it.

The first and the foremost guard against it to promote self-respect in women generally. And there is a need that they should realise the importance of respecting the fellow women privacy. At schools and college levels we need to have informal social discussions where they should be taught the importance of self respect and respect of others' privacy. Many a times we pass on baseless stories without even realising what havoc it will cause.

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