Harassment is a global issue due to its adverse effects on victims, organizations and society in general. Women are considered as one of the important pillars to build a strong nation. As the world is rapidly moving towards globalization hence there is drastic increase in women participation in the work force.

Throughout the world, working people are reporting general and sexual harassment at their workplaces. Despite all the efforts for preventive remedies, the problem of workplace harassment is continuing and adversely affecting the mental and physical health of working women across the globe.

At workplaces, management plays very important role in order to combat issue of sexual harassment. It can create physical and psychological problems for the victims and can cause reputational harm and financial loss (in terms of low productivity and high turnover) to organizations.

Historically, the patriarchal system and the discriminatory attitude of male dominated society towards professional women may be the reason behind workplace harassment. In the traditional patriarchal Pakistani society, a woman has to face many pressures for economic autonomy and mobility. The main dilemma in Pakistani society is that incidents of harassments especially workplace harassment is considered as the mistake of the harassed not the harasser.

Pakistan’s workplaces are also witnessing sexual harassment experiences whether in the form of staring, sexual comments, molestation and some form of unwanted physical contact. The seriousness of this issue has forced Pakistani Government to make a new law titled as the “Protection against Harassment of women at work place” in the year 2010. Now this law is in force in Pakistan but still sexual harassment remains a common complaint especially for females and a lot more efforts needs to be done for proper implementation of existing legislation so that before harassing any women at workplace, harasser must consider the consequences.

SAHIBA IRFAN KHAN,

Lahore, September 17.