ISLAMABAD: In the fight for women’s rights, there is much to be happy about this year. The Protection Against the Harassment of Women at Work Place Act 2010 was finally promulgated and implemented in the senate, thus adding to the National Working Women’s Day celebrations.
The day was declared by the prime minister last year to recognise working women’s struggles and symbolise the abrasive and undignified working environment which women fall prey to, in addition to other obstacles such as social taboos of working women.
December 22 was chosen as the day on account of it being the date when Dr Fouzia Saeed, a social worker and founder of Alliance Against Sexual Harassment (AASHA), filed a sexual complaint against a UN official in Pakistan in conjunction with eleven other women.
Saeed penned her experience down in “Working with Sharks: Countering Sexual Harassment in our Lives”, a book that was launched at the 11th Annual Working Women’s Assembly at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Thursday.
In addition to Saeed’s book launch, the event featured many celebratory aspects that brought together women from all walks of life and professions.
The PNCA auditorium was jam-packed to the extent that a significant number of participants had to stand in the hallway.
AASHA, which was integral to the legislation, has formed a precedent for civil society organisations to synergise their efforts when working for a common cause without running on donor-funded projects.
AASHA’s journey was shared with the audience through a film.
The event concluded with Rukhsana Murtaza singing songs from all four provinces, which enthralled the audience to sing along and dance.