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PIA sexual harassment: another view

THIS is apropos of a news item (April 1) regarding the directives issued to PIA under the Harassment of Women Bill passed by the National Assembly.

While the bill is certainly a step in the right direction and is well-intentioned, it is extremely unfortunate that the first case to be taken up under this bill was put forward by a very well-connected and influential female pilot, seeking to cover up her professional weakness.

Capt Riffat Haye’s complaint against one of the pilots in particular, the General Manager, ATR, is of a purely professional nature and she has opportunistically misused the Bill, taking advantage of her friendship with members of the National Assembly.

The real victims of harassment at the workplace, the women who work in our homes and in factories and the secretaries and receptionists at offices across the country, will remain unable to seek redress.

The Standing Committee may have been eager to make a point and appear proactive with their recommendations in this case, but they are inadvertently helping to strengthen the status quo.

Once again, power and influence triumph and the rights of women are used as a convenient scapegoat. Such decisions will act as a setback to the legitimate grievances of women in this country and make a mockery of the Bill in question.

BISMA MUGHUL
Karachi

Source: Dawn

Date:4/8/2010

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