”According to the statistics, 99% of women in Pakistan have faced some form of harassment once in their lifetime. But, if you travel by public transport, it may be your plight daily.”
Maliha Husain, CEO AASHA Organization.
However, the dilemma, that worsens the state of affairs, is that women are not aware of their legal rights and how Pakistani law empowers them against harassers. But, the country protects its female citizens – from every major to minor offence. Here’s how
THE LAW IS ON YOUR SIDE!
- Section 510, Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a drunk person appears in a public place, causing annoyance to any person, he can be punished with imprisonment or fine or both.
- Section 509, Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person labels any woman, utters any disrespectful word or is offensive by their gesture, he’s liable to the punishment of three years or fine or both.
- Section 366A, Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a girl under the age of 18 is forced to perform sexual intercourse, the offender is liable to a punishment of 10 years and fine.
- Section 509, Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person demands sexual favors and uses a verbal or non-verbal form of communication, causing any kind of annoyance, the person is liable to a punishment of three years or fine or both.
- Section 509, Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person makes a false accusation of fornication against any woman, he is liable to five years in prison along with a fine.
- Section 354A, Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person assaults a woman using criminal force, stripping off her clothes and exposing her to public view, he is liable to be punished with death or imprisonment for life along with fine.
- Section 294, Pakistan Penal Code 1860: If a person uses any indecent or vulgar language in a public place with an intention to offend, he is liable to the punishment of three years along with fine.
- According to Section 3 of Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010, each organization has to constitute an inquiry committee to inquire into complaints made regarding workplace harassment. The committee should comprise of three members. One member should be a woman.
- According to Section 2(H) of Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010, anyone making unwelcoming sexual advance, requesting for sexual favors or his any verbal or physical conduct (falls in the category of workplace harassment) causes interference with work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment for fellow co-workers, can be liable to following penalties:
- Minor penalties:
Censure withholding for a specific period.
Promotion or increment stoppage for a specific period.
Recovery or compensation, payable to the complainant from pay or any other source of the accused.
- Major Penalties:
Reduction to a lower post.
Removal from service.
Dismissal from service or fine.
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