LAHORE   -  The Ombudsperson Punjab has started a series of training workshops for the government officials who are members of anti-harassment committees.

Until now, five training sessions have been conducted where the officials of Director-General Wildlife and Parks, Women Development Department, Punjab Vocational Training Centre, Zakat & Usher, Government College University Lahore, Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab, LUMS, Housing and Public Health Engineering, Regulations wing of the S&GAD, Center for Human Rights Education Pakistan have attended the session.

Training included PowerPoint presentations by Secretary Ombudsperson Punjab, panel discussions, case studies and feedback from the participants. The purpose of the training was to make the role of the committees more significant and proficient.

Ombudsperson Punjab Mrs Rukhsana Gillani stressed the officials to play their role to provide a safe and secure environment to the females working in their respective departments and also asked them to seek help from Ombudsperson if there is any hurdle in dealing the case. 

She maintained working women’s ignorance of the legal rights provided under this act as well as lack of confidence in the system prevents them from reporting sexual harassment at workplace and to exercise their legal rights as provided by this act. 

Most of the women in the public and private sector don’t complain because of social taboos and lack of confidence on the inquiry committee whether they will be able to handle the case. 

As far as the law against harassment is passed and the establishment of the office of Ombudsperson Punjab, most of the cases has been reported to the said department rather than to inquiry committees because inquiry members are not aware of the procedure and legal aspects of this act to deal with harassment complaints, she added.