Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Director Information Technology supports women harrasment bill

Peshawar, July 15, 2013 (PPI-OT): Director IT, Directorate of IT strongly supports it but at the same time would expect further maturity in the law so that it may not be misused in the future.

This law provides security and will result in women empowerment. Women will be encouraged and will be treated with equity

National Assembly Wednesday unanimously passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2009 to amend Pakistan Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure and provide protection to women against harassment at workplace. Minister for Law and Justice, Muhammad Afzal Sindhu moved the bill to the House as passed by the Standing Committee, and all of its three clauses were passed unanimously with opposition neither opposing it nor proposing any further amendments.

The bill provides protection to working women at workplace from sexual advances and intimidation and violators will be punished with three years imprisonment or Rs. 500,000 fine or both.

The Bill states; whoever makes sexual advances, or demands sexual favors or uses written or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which intends to annoy, insult, intimidate or threaten the other person or commits such acts at the premises of workplace, or makes submission to such conduct either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or makes submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual, a basis for employment decision affecting such individual, or retaliates because of rejection of such behavior, or conducts such behavior with the intention of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or fine up to Rs 500,000 or with both.

In the next clause the bill elaborate the dispensation mechanism for the bill where the word, sexual harassment, has been included to already existing entries of uttering word or making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of women etc.

The same clause clarified the fine amount to Rs 500,000 also elaborating that the accused will not be arrested without warrant, warrants will be bailable and the case will be presented to the court of Magistrate of First Class.

The Statement of Objects and Reasons reveals that the amendment will not only make the public and work environment safer for men and women but will open up the path for more women in particular to pursue their livelihood with dignity. It will reduce poverty as more and more women will get the courage to enter the job market.

This amendment will also open up opportunity for private and the government sector to get competent human resource that will result in better production and improved quality of service. The social benefits, as a result of providing protection against harassment will become a major contribution to the development of the country.

For more information, contact:
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Tel: 091 921 1789

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