KARACHI: Ms. Kashmala Tariq, Federal Ombudsperson on harassment of women at workplaces held a meeting with Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir Sr. Vice President FPCCI and other Office Bearers of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) at FPCCI Head Office Karachi and inked an MoU for close cooperation, protection at workplace and implementation of anti-harassment laws in trade, industry and environment sector. The meeting was also attended by Mr. S. M. Muneer leader of business community, Mr. Tariq Haleem and Ms. Saeeda Bano Vice Presidents FPCCI, leading and prominent businessmen and Women Entrepreneurs.
In his welcome remarks, Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir Sr. Vice President FPCCI emphasized on the need women empowerment and their important role in the economic and social development of Pakistan. He also appreciated the services of Federal Ombudsperson on harassment of women and informed that FPCCI will initiate programme of creating awareness amongst the concerned circle. Following the MoU, FPCCI will also establish information desk in order to facilitate the complainants displaying code of conduct at workplace for awareness purposes. FPCCI will conduct awareness seminars and workshops at different cities of Pakistan regarding the anti-harassment laws.
Mr. S. M. Muneer, Leader of Business Community stated that Pakistan can’t achieve the target of economic stability and self-reliance without active involvement of women. Unfortunately, 70-80 percent harassment cases are not reported in Pakistan due to unawareness about harassment laws. He added that FPCCI always advocate for women empowerment on every forum and encourage their services in trade and industry by providing equal opportunities in trade exhibitions, Standing Committees and other activities. There are 13 women chambers in Pakistan that work under the support of FPCCI and encouraging and facilitating women entrepreneurs, he stated.
In her remarks, Ms. Kashmala Tariq stated that Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act was passed in March 2010 for entire Pakistan which makes harassment against women at work place and public places a criminal offence. The objectives of this law is to create a safe working environment free from harassment, abuse and intimidation to facilitate their right to work with dignity and enable higher productivity and a better quality of life at work. As per the law, the punishment includes a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment including censure, stopping promotion, compulsory retirement, removal, dismissal from service and fine payable to the complainant, she added. The law on sexual harassment has the potential to be a catalyst for positive change in our attitudes towards women in the workplace, and the establishment of the ombudsperson office is a good starting points. PR