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Sexual harassment legislation must be implemented: NCSW

ISLAMABAD: The speakers in the fourth meeting of the Implementation Watch Committee of the National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW) urged the true implementation of anti-sexual harassment legislation in all the universities of the country.

In the meeting, they urged the relevant departments to ensure the implementation of anti-sexual harassment legislation and appreciated the Higher Education Commission for its efforts to institutionalise mechanisms in the universities to combat sexual harassment.

The commission has been working on a draft policy for several months under a task force chaired by Karakoram University Vice Chancellor, Najma Najam, while a policy was finalised in the light of the recent legislation and sent to all the universities to comply with.

NCSW Implementation Watch Committee Chairperson, Dr Fouzia Saeed, said that now the provinces have to appoint an ombudsperson under the law for the working women in each province. Dr Fouzia also reported that the rules of the legislation of ‘The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010’ have been approved.

Punjab Women and Development Department Head, Sajjad Sipra, assured the committee that the department was institutionalising the code of conduct and also conducting trainings to sensitise the people.

One of the speakers, Maliha Husain, while reporting on the level of implementation through regulatory bodies, said that most of the bodies have notified the organisations working under them, however, a reminder needed to be sent out for more speedy compliance.

Administration and Establishment Division Joint Secretary, Rukhsana Rehman, said that information about the law needed to be circulated time and again for internalisation of the mechanism.

It was also decided in the meeting to focus on the health and education ministries to help setup the mechanisms to deal with sexual harassment at the provincial level.

Source: Daily Times

Date:2/24/2011

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