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Harassment in educational institutes

By Dr. Abdul Razak Shaikh,

Nowadays it is common discussion in public and newspapers of Sindh about female Students harassment in educational institutes of province. Though same situation also remained in the different work places where females are on job. Freshly incidences taken place in the month of September at General University of Benazir Abad, where Female student harassed by the Lecturer and latter on Vice Chancellor favored that person. Now Vice chancellor and Lecturer have submitted resignation from job due to pressure developed by the family of student, different NGOs and political parties. Earlier in the First week of September a FIR were registered against Principal Law College Nausheroferoz over the harassment of female student, latter on matter were resolved by mutual understanding. Students were mostly making blackmail in the pretext of attendance and passing marks in Examination. Earlier harassed Student of General University Benazir Abad has been called by Provincial Ombudsman for further enquiry and next date is fixed 17th October 2018 for written reply of accused. As per provincial Ombudsman only 5 percent of cases of Harassment are reported. The FIR also has registered against Vice Chancellor and lecturer and both are on bail.
Harassment covers wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behavior that demeans, humiliates or embarrasses a person and it is characteristically identified by it’s unlike hood in term of social and moral reasonableness.
In the legal sense, these are behaviors that appear to be disturbing, upsetting or threatening.
Sexual harassment can happens anywhere but it is most common in the workplace and educational places. It involves unwanted and unwelcome words, action, gestures, symbols or behaviors of Sexual nature that make the target feel uncomfortable. Women are substantially more likely to be affected than men. The harassment may be done by different methods like Mobile having many systems to harass, workplace where female suffers by their officers, racial and religious reasons also. Lot of the cases are Un reportable in their workplace or educational institutes. Many women raise their voice about Harassment. The woman who fails to do so is mainly because of the consequences of raising voice. Usually the conclusion of such situation is resignation from current work place.
Pakistani women generally go through three different levels of issues with Sexual Harassment (SH) process. Firstly, women endeavor to hide SH due to Islamic modesty and cultural traditions. Secondly, once they decide to take action there is a lack of redress at organizational and government level. Finally, once they report the issue they face Victimization.
Many other institutes have been reported the harassment cases, 5 were reported in Karachi University previously and among of them one student tried to suicide and two teachers were punished, 3 cases in Shah Abdul lateef University Khairpur and 2 cases in Sindh Maderatul Islam University Karachi. Other cases were also reported in different Medical colleges. In January 2017 one student had Suicide in Hostel room University of Sindh.
Lot of female was also made black mailed for purpose getting Job.
The best tools to eliminate sexual harassment are education, training and prevention. Women should be provided with training to deal with such situation and provided with safe working environment and strict internal policies should be made by each organization to function effectively. At the same time, Women rights should be implemented practically by the Government of Pakistan. The harassment cases are presently visible in different educational institute,
Keeping in all circumstances now it is suggested that anti -Harassment committees to work in Educational Institutes and atmosphere be activate that no such a incidence happens in future , so daughters and sisters get education and move freely in their learning places.

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