‘Women will not be exploited’

The government has also taken strict measures to discourage child marriages

Owais Qarni August 30, 2015
PCSW chairperson Fauzia Viqar. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/EXPRESS


The Punjab Commission on the Status of Women has received over 18,000 complaints of sexual harassment at workplace since it started working in August last year, PCSW chairperson Fauzia Viqar said during a talk at the DCO’s office in Sahiwal on Sunday.

She said the complaints had been investigated and the culprits were handed out strict punishments.

She said the government had taken effective measures and had amended laws to ensure the welfare of women in Pakistan. “Women will not be exploited without consequence.”

The various amendments to law protect the women’s right to inheritance and share in property, she said. There is no need for women to go to civil courts, Viqar said, there are several platforms they can approach for this purpose. “Women have 15 per cent quota in government jobs,” she said.

All government offices also have complaint cells where women can register complaints against sexual harassment. “Building separate lounges and washrooms for men and women has been mandatory for all government offices.”

Day care centres are also being set up in offices, she said. This has been done to make sure that working women do not have to give up their jobs to take care of their children, Viqar said.

The government has also taken strict measures to discourage child marriages. “This is one of the worst crimes… punishment for this is seven years or a hefty fine.” The nikah khwan will be punished as well, she said.

Registration of births and deaths has been made free in the province. She said no fee would be required to apply for birth or death certificates.

Viqar requested citizens to report any incidents of exploitation they come across on the toll-free number 0800-93372. “This is our moral and national duty,” she said.

She urged women to stand up for their rights and to help the commission achieve its goal of women empowerment.

DCO Mushtaq Ahmad Malik, Community Development EDO Syed Alamdar Hussain Shah, Education EDO Rao Shahid Mehmood and Assistant Commissionair Saba Asghar Ali were present at the session.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2015. 


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