Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience. In response to being asked whether women were made to stay silent about workplace harassment, 61 per cent said their employers did not coerce them to keep quiet, but a significant 35pc were told to remain silent by their colleagues and bosses.
The survey conducted through online questionnaires and interviews in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta collated responses from women in the workforce, across professions and industries, to experiences of sexual harassment and whether workplaces have anti-sexual harassment policies in Sexual harassment bill pakistan. Most women felt they would not be believed during investigations or when perpetrators had support in high places.
Women in medicine shared stories of a toxic culture of misogyny. Those who call out workplace misconduct are routinely portrayed as hysterical and malicious liars or whiners. One former medical student of a university hospital said her professor, a well-known orthopaedic surgeon, often paid her unwanted attention.
Once, he propositioned her while she was operating on a patient under his supervision. had power over students he favoured. We were given warnings about some professors and male students we should steer clear of. It was a very uncomfortable environment. In fact, everyday aggressions by male bosses often create humiliating work conditions for female subordinates. Women in technology speak of how managers denigrate their worth and work; improper touching and comments, bullying; and bosses taking credit for their achievements.
Schoolteachers talk of promotions promised in return for sexual favours. Even legislative assemblies in which pro-women laws are sanctified are not safe from everyday sexism. She even threatened to immolate herself if he did not resign. This was not an isolated incident. Many women lawmakers suffer inappropriate banter intended to publicly demean them.
Failing to condemn this behaviour, women lawmakers mostly support their parties for fear of censure by male leaders. Often harassers are weaker but enablers allow them to become strong so they stay within communities and are not isolated. Silence and secrecy enforce perpetrators.
If a woman cannot be completely silenced, they make Sexual harassment bill pakistan she is disbelieved or shamed, say lawyers dealing with harassment cases. The more powerful the perpetrator, the more he is able to discredit the victim through his network of supporters.
But often the matter is also hushed up. Taimur raised another issue: This makes it easier for them to cover their tracks. Although women in the force can hold their own, she admits certain men try to cast them as being of ill repute.
Of the women surveyed, more than half said they would leave their jobs if harassed.
For 12pc, reactions of workplaces and families would determine whether they stayed. But many recognise that ignoring harassment or leaving the workplace altogether will only exacerbate the problem.
The only woman in her office, for six months, her colleagues maligned her reputation, told dirty jokes in her presence and Sexual harassment bill pakistan cigarette smoke in her face. Eleven people were nominated in the complaint, and each was given different levels of punishment. But such an outcome is still an anomaly.
In interviews, women explained how disciplinary action against harassers is virtually non-existent in a society where powerful men are immune from censure: One lawyer talked of misbehaviour in her profession: Once he tried to hug me, and when I told him specifically that this was not okay, he said his last employee was a tomboy and never hesitated to hug him.
I left that law chamber. Recalling her early days, another lawyer wrote of a senior colleague, a son of a high court judge, who would send her dozens of inappropriate, late-night text messages. With its enactment and the amendment to Pakistan Penal Code Sexual harassment bill pakistanboth inthe real challenge is implementation.
Meanwhile, although the civil law requires organisations to adopt a code of conduct and constitute internal inquiry committees, organisations often fail to implement it.
It was a nightmare to get PTV to nominate a committee. Under this law, if a complainant is not satisfied with the internal committee, they can approach their respective ombudsperson for cases of workplace harassment. And while compliance with rulings is almost universal according to former federal ombudsperson for harassment, retired justice Yasmin Abbasey, she admits that the high courts have sometimes issued stay orders to stop proceedings despite lacking the jurisdiction to do so.
And what Sexual harassment bill pakistan the effects of these conversations? Uzma Al-Karim, former special adviser to the Sindh ombudsperson, believes only a mindset change will make workplaces safer for women. If you are facing sexual harassment at work and would like to file a complaint, please follow the government's guidelines here and here.