The Civil Society Alliance (CSA) on Monday demanded the appointment of an ombudsman to address cases under the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010 across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
To press its demand, a symbolic sit-in was organised outside Peshawar Press Club by CSA including organisations such as EVAW/G Alliance, MEN UNiTE, Pakhtukhwa Civil Society Network and the Tribal NGOs Consortium (TNC).
Call to implement law
At the sit-in, participants including Barrister Hashim Raza, Arbab Mir Afzal, Mian Zubair, Fida Jan and Sufyan urged the provincial government to appoint an ombudsperson since Section 7 of the aforementioned required one in every province.
They said an office in K-P needs to be established soon to redress women’s complaints against harassment and discrimination at the workplace.
“After the ANP government, the current PTI-led coalition has also failed to appoint the ombudsman and must do something soon,” Taimur Kamal, member of Pakhtukhwa Civil Society Network (PCSN) said.
Need of the hour
The participants emphasised the prevalance of sexual harassment at the workplace and its repercussions for women in the long-term.
They said sexual harassment ranges from derogatory comments, unwanted sexual advances to threats of assault and rape.
“Harassment can have particularly negative consequences for workers in low income jobs as they can least afford to have their livelihoods threatened,” said Zar Ali Khan, member of TNC. He added CSA has been working extensively to put an end to harassment cases and ensure workers have effective means to deal with harassment cases.
Shereen, co-chair of End Violence against Women and Girls Alliance, expressed concerns over the poor legislative efforts by the provincial government for women’s rights.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2015.
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