Posted by : Fahmina Arshad Saturday, September 8, 2012




 


Bigger than any issue, Sexual Harassment of women at workplace is the most common issue around the globe. without any restriction of race, religion, country or society women around the world facing the issue at all levels, either she is working in a office or in a field, the problem is same.
Harassment at work place



What is a sexual harassment? 

 

According to Wikipedia Sexual harassment is intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors In most modern legal contexts sexual harassment is illegal. As defined by EEOC, "It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Although it applies on both women and men but unfortunately in this men's world women suffer in a large number. ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that One in four U.S women has experienced workplace sexual harassment, now come to home sweet home,
In Pakistan harassment at the workplace is, to date, not recognized as a punishable offense, 

don't know how long we should wait to get the recognition like so many other issues. Because of this many women do not get as much support as they should get, in fact a complaint can create even more problems for the woman  being harassed. I know a couple of NGOs who work for the said issue one is Bedari  and the second is Aasha an umbrella group of six NGOs formed in 2001, assisted in drafting a code of conduct for the workplace, which has served as the foundation of the anti-harassment bill. Data on the number of women affected by harassment is hard to come by since there is no law under which cases can be registered.
Ambreen Ajaib who has been working as a  psychologist with Bedari said I see about 50 to 70 women per year. Now the question is why these women need to see a psychologist, the answer is because the sexual harassment of women at workplace effects them and have very serious consequences.

Maheen Usmani, who used to work at Dunya TV, says she faced even more problems after she filed a complaint against the channel's managing director, Yousaf Mirza Baig. "He would call me late at night, stare me down during meetings and eventually he started cutting out TV reports that I had worked on." In what eventually became a famous case, Usmani says she was barred from entering her own office and later heard defamatory rumours about herself. 

There are so many women around us in real life who suffered or still facing the situation, I was also a victim of harassment at work place, and I cannot forget the stress, indirect pressure and unpleasant working conditions, and I could not got any help due to lack of awareness about the issue.


Effects of sexual harassment:


According to Advocate for human Rights,  Sexual harassment at work can have very serious consequences both for the harassed individual as well as for other working women who experience it secondhand.
The consequences to the individual employee can be many and serious.  In some situations, a harassed woman risks losing her job or the chance for a promotion if she refuses to give in to the sexual demands of someone in authority.  In other situations, the unwelcome sexual conduct of co-workers makes the working conditions hostile and unpleasant- putting indirect pressure on her to leave the job.  Sometimes, the employee is so traumatized by the harassment that she suffers serious emotional and physical consequences—and very often, becomes unable to perform her job properly.

According to data complied by Equal Rights Advocates, a women’s law center in the U.S., 90 to 95% of sexually harassed women suffer from some debilitating stress reaction, including anxiety, depression, headaches, sleep disorders, weight loss or gain, nausea, lowered self-esteem. The effect on the morale of all employees can also be serious.  Both men and women in a workplace can find their work disrupted by sexual harassment even if they are not directly involved.  Sexual harassment can have a demoralizing effect on everyone within range of it, and it often negatively impacts company productivity on the whole. 

Despite the fact that due to great Red tape we are not able a get a  right time for having a law for the said issue we still hope and looking forward to an  Anti Harassment bill and of course  the implementation of the bill, which  is the most important part. 

Your views will be welcome openly about the issue,  do write.....







 







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About Author

Fahmina Arshad is Blogger, Social Media Activist, Women Rights activist, women rights defender, feminist, women issues advisor and ambitious to work for Women Growth in Pakistan.

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