HYDERABAD: Sindh University (SU) will set up anti-harassment cells for the protection of female students and staff at its 57 teaching departments. The announcement was made on Thursday at a seminar which discussed the social and legal aspects of women protection.
“These cells will soon come up with a gender policy,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Fateh Muhammed Burfat, while seeking cooperation of faculty and students. He encouraged female students to continue their quest for higher education and research at the SU without any fear.
Burfat advised the female students to directly bring a harassment complaint to his office by dropping a complaint letter at the complaint box outside the VC’s office.
Additional IG and Counter-Terrorism Department chief Dr Sanaullah Abbasi said the country’s poor ranking in the gender issues showed a disconnect between the state and its citizens. The state alone could not address the problem without help from the society, he added.
He drew a comparison between India and Pakistan contending that the latter country has done much for women empowerment. Former Amnesty International secretary Iqbal Ahmed Detho said that the society has not accepted women as equal human beings, adding that discrimination and prejudice continue towards women in every aspect of life in Pakistan.
Hyderabad ASP Zahida Parveen said the law existed not only for protecting working women from harassment but also female students. “It also provides protection to students whose faculty [teacher] may exercise [harmful] influence.”
She advised the students to report the police about harassment complaints. Asghar Soomro, a columnist, suggested setting up anti-harassment cells in all teaching departments of SU. He suggested that the cells should also include an investigative arm besides collection of complaints.