Every Women Must know these 9 Harassment Laws
Pakistani women rank the lowest in the index of gender equality. They are put through situations like stalking, catcalling, and harassment as soon as they step out of their houses.
There is alarming evidence showing that 99% of Pakistani women face one or the other form of harassment daily, be it on public transport or during work hours or only or even while shopping.
The Constitution of Pakistan clearly states that Sexual harassment is an infringement of ones’ fundamental ‘’right to dignity” as it is preserved in the Constitution of Pakistan.
But this situation is aggravated further as most women, young ladies, and girls are not aware of their fundamental and legal rights. They are forbidden even to discuss the issue with parents, siblings, and friends.
The legislation that governs the harassment laws in Pakistan:
There is a Section 2(H) that defines the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010.
The law says that any one caught who makes unwelcoming sexual requests or advances for sexual favors, through his physical or verbal conduct (workplace harassment) leading to interference with work performance or creating a hostile, offensive or intimidating, workplace environment for co-workers, is be liable to following punishments.
Some of the Minor Penalties include:
- Recovery or compensation will be payable to the complainant from any source of the accused or his pay.
- Censure withholding for a specific period.
Some Major Penalties:
- Reduction to a lower post
- Removal from service
- Dismissal from service or fine.
- Compulsory retirement
- There is a clause in the Penal Code’s section 3 regarding the Workplace Protection against Harassment of Women Act 2010; each organization is liable to constitute an inquiry committee that will inquire into any complaints made about workplace harassment. The committee shall comprise of three members. One of which must be a woman.
- Section 294 of the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 says that a person using any vulgar or indecent language in a public place intending to offend a lady would face a fine and imprisonment of three years.
- Section 354 A of the Penal Code of Pakistan 1860 enforces that if a person is found assaulting a woman using any criminal force, exposing her to public view, or stripping off her clothes, he will face the death penalty or life imprisonment, including hefty fine.
- In Section 366 A, the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 has marked out that ifa girl under 18 years of age is forced into sexual intercourse, the crime offender faces a punishment of 10 years of prison life and will pay a hefty amount in fine.
- Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 has written that a person discovered labeling a woman with any disrespectful word or is offensive towards her any gesture. He will face a punishment of three years or a fine or even both.
- Section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860 has a clause that discusses the punishment of a person who demands any sexual favors using a verbal or non-verbal form of communication. If the act creates any annoyance, the person faces a sentence of three years or a fine or both.
- A clause of Section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860 notifies the citizens of Pakistan that if a person is making any false accusation about fornication against any woman, he will have to face five years in the prison along with paying a fine.
- Section 510 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860 has stated that a drunken person appearing in a public place or gathering, causing any form of annoyance to any person there, will strictly be punished with imprisonment or fine, even both.