The Secretary-General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, IA Rehman, issued a report outlining the problems in current Pakistani sexual harassment laws. According to Rehman, the problem lies not in a lack of laws but in the reluctance to search out the flaws in these policies.
Legal and human rights activists gathered in an Islamabad hotel to discuss the current laws and offer amendments to improve what is currently on the books. While Pakistan has seen a dramatic increase in the number of reporting sexual harassment cases, Rehman believes a few changes can be implemented to further protect Pakistani women.
Moving beyond the human rights explanation for the necessity of sexual harassment protection, Rehman claims “sexual harassment acts as an obstacle for growth and progression in any society” and believes that Pakistan is “bearing the economic cost of women not working.” With increased protection and investigation, Pakistan can take its economic growth to the next level.
New York sexual harassment lawyers are impressed with the improvements Pakistan has made over the last couple of decades. These include the passing of the Code of Conduct for Gender Justice in 2001 and the implementation of the Protection Against Harassment at Workplace Act of 2010. These two acts offer an excellent starting ground for Pakistan to build from.
The Standing Committee on Law and Justice has taken up the issue by suggesting an amendment to the Protection Against Harassment of Women in the Workplace Act. The amendment would expand the act to include protection college and university students. Additionally, New York lawyers advise that the law should be expanded to include informal workplaces – where the majority of Pakistani women are employed.
Pakistan should be commended for the phenomenal changes that have been made over the last decade while being encouraged to continue to search diligently for ways to improve the situation further.
The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760 or email at [email protected].
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