Dr. Tahir Rauf
New sexual harassment legislation, an amendment to the Criminal Law was passed in the National Assembly and later signed by the president Asif Ali Zardai this week. The bill provides protection to “working women at workplace” against harassment and intimidation. The offence is punishable with either three years imprisonment, Rs.500, 000 fine or both.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances and the victim(s) may be a woman, or a man or a child. In a civil society, the victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct or associated with the victim or offender.
However, many women rights groups and NGOs have expressed an overwhelming response to the legislation. Without a doubt, this passage of legislation advocates limiting behaviors on the basis of morality and promises new cultural and social values of the daily norms. Laws are made about defending people’s rights from being violated by others. However, the new law’s implementation is an implicated issue considering moral and social behaviors based upon an evaluation of the current circumstances in Pakistani society. Continue reading