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SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  • Iqra Munir
  • Dec, 2017
  • 111
  • Society

Sexual harassment is not your fault. If you are a victim you don’t need to be ashamed of.  You need to document the harassment, and report it

Introduction

Sexual harassment is considered to be taken place when a worker male/female is sexually harassed in his/her workplace or places where workers are gathered for work related purposes including social activity. It includes verbal, written, physical or visual conduct, requests for sexual favours, unsolicited or unwelcomed sexual advances, whistling sexual stories, dirty jokes, accusation act, Physical, touching, grabbing, pinching, flashing, rubbing, mooning[section 2(h)].Sexual harassment of women at work place Act 2010.

It’s the matter affecting the lives of people on large scale both at home and abroad. The importance of this matter you can judge about the reporting both in national and international media. Harassment at workplace make the people feel uncomfortable at work place and can lay deep scars as well as impact on their lives.

There are different types of harassments

Physical harassment (.5%)

Any unwanted kissing

Touching of a sexual nature

Sexual assault

Verbal harassment (12%)

Unwanted comments

On appearance, private life or body

Insults/putdowns

Written or graphic harassment (4%)

Crude jokes

Displays of offensive/sexual graphics

Materials, letters, emails and social media

Gestural harassment (10%)

Unwanted gestures with sexual overtones

Winking, leering, inappropriate hand signals

Emotional harassment (5%)

Offensive phone calls, texts or instant messages

Sexual propositions or persistent request for dates via text messages (1%)

According to a survey, women reported all these types of harassment in the work place and it exists across all industries in the Asia with high incident reported in hospitality (31%) public service (19%), health (23%), hotels (23%), and education sector (8%).

Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2010

Pakistan Government passed a law in 2010 called, “Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2010. The intention of the law is to provide an opportunity to all organizations, institutions, public, private and civil society to develop a self-regulatory mechanism whereby organizations/institutions can handle the problems related to sexual harassment internally. Adoption of this code has become mandatory for all organizations/institutions. The Act is for all employees, students, women and men and puts the responsibility on the management to make the organizational environment safe and secure and free of sexual harassment. According to this law the institutions can deal with sexual harassment cases within the institution without going to the police or court of law.

Protection of women harassment at public place act 2010 only is confined with the work place. Section 509 of Pakistan penal code has been enacted to deal with women sexual harassment. The punishment for harassment is 3 years imprisonment, or 500000 fine or with both. Prevention of electronic crime act 2016 deals with online stalking.

Much to the dismay of the people at receiving end, harassment is not restricted to underdeveloped or developing countries. The best example we see in the case of Canada, a tolerant and free society where according to a 12300 random women survey by professor rose McNaughton, 80% women harassed publically. In the same way, another survey conducted in Europe tells the same type of the story:  one in every three women admitted that they had been harassed and domestically abused. In Holland, according to a survey in 2016 contacted 5000 women, almost 60% women said they were harassed at public places often. In our societies 8 out of every 10 women harassed with the age group of 15 to 34, and reported domestic violence as well. It is nothing but a sad fact.

A recent example we find in Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s sister case. Although that does not come under any specific law related to harassment but cyber crime may deal it as in cyber stalking if there is any ill will. Here the question arises, what should be our response to such reports in society? One thing is clear. We should not sit on the fence. We should come forward and condemn such ill behaviour publically since we are a part of society and we are in there.

What can you do to stop harassment?

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