A Senate panel on Thursday proposed a fresh amendment to the anti-harassment law which will also be applied to educational institutions.
The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice discussed a range of amendments to different laws including the National Accountability (amendment) Ordinance 2010, the Constitutional Amendment Bill-2011, the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Bill, 2014 and the Protection Against the Harassment of Women in the Workplace (Amendment) Bill.
Committee member Senator Farhatullah Babar suggested an amendment to the Protection Against the Harassment of Women in the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, aimed at expanding it to educational institutions to offer greater protection to students. He suggested that the law should not be confined only to workplaces, citing the example of Quaid-e-Azam University where a teacher sexually harassed a female student and the teacher was later suspended by the university. The law ministry gave its legal opinion on the issue saying the Anti-Harassment at Workplace Law is not applicable in such a way.
The committee chairman Senator Kazim Khan noted that the law currently lacks the definition of ‘harassment’. “There is a need to expand the law’s ambit in order to protect women across society,” he said.
Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, leader of the house in the Senate, supported an expansion of the scope of the law as well as a change in its title.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2014.
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Finally a worthwhile cause being pursued by the Legislators. Really to surprised to read these folks actually do a bit of law-making when they're not prostrating before the extremists' whims or enjoying foreign locales at the expense of the national exchequer.