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Workplace harassment: LCCI, Ombudsperson urged to work together

A law on protection of working women against harassment was passed in 2010. However, most working women lack awareness about the law, Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WCCI) president Dr Shehla said on Saturday.

She was speaking at a seminar organised jointly by the WCCI and HomeNet Pakistan.

She said women working in government departments too were unaware of the remedies against workplace harassment provided in the law. She urged working women to raise their voice on issues like gender discrimination, wage parity and working conditions.

Homenet Pakistan executive director Umme Laila Azhar said harassment was a major problem faced by women employed in factories and engaged in field jobs. She called upon the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry to work with the provincial ombudsperson to evolve a plan for reduction of workplace harassment incidents in the city.

Azhar also sought expansion in the scope of the law on workplace harassment to the informal sector. She said her organisation had sent a request for the purpose to the provincial government. She said they had yet to receive a response.

Activist Mehnaz Rafi said the progress achieved by women world over had come about alongside a change in public attitudes toward them.

Ombudsperson Farkhanda Waseem said there would be no compromise on promotion of a benign environment at workplaces. She said the government had started a Harassment Awareness Volunteer Programme to raise awareness among working women about the law on protection against harassment.

She said soon complaint cells would be established at the district level.

Express Tribune