Protest demands stopping sexual harassment at schools, workplaces

Karachi, November 09, 2019 (PPI-OT): A protest of labourers and their trade union here Saturday demanded that the culprits who killed medical student Nimarta Chandani after rape in a medical university of Larkana should be given exemplary punishment, besides stopping all types of sexual harassment at workplaces and educational institutions.

According to details, Home-based Women Workers Federation and Young Workers Committee jointly organized a protest demo against sexual harassment of women at workplaces and educational institutions, led by HBWWF general secretary Zehra Khan and Young Workers Committee leader Aqib Hussain.

Addressing the demo, Zehra Khan said that in Sindh and other provinces the ugly incidents of harassment of female students in educational institutions and women workers at workplaces are rising with every passing day. She regretted that administration instead of stopping such incidents often tries to hush these matters up or give them some other colour so that the actual culprits go scot-free.

She said the situation is getting worse, which is alarming. She said it is a great tragedy that the higher administration of the Sindh government-run medical university in Larkana had dubbed the rape-murder of medical student Nimarta as a suicide. She demanded that the vice chancellor of this university should be immediately sacked and strict action should be taken against her for her biased role in this highly sensitive case.

National Trade Union Federation General Secretary Nasir Mansoor said that sexual harassment cases in educational institutions are rising and it is becoming difficult for female students to get education. He said this trend would further promote reactionary ideology and religious extremism in our society. He said if this sexual harassment continued in our educational institutions, more and more parents would find it very difficult to send their daughters to colleges and universities.

Young Workers Committee leader Shah Faisal said that in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh province, rangers and FC personnel are present in universities in the name of security, but still the cases are sexual harassment of female students occur there, which is a tragedy. He said in the name of security our educational institutions are turned into virtual jails. He said democratic traditions and culture is being ended in our campuses. He demanded restoration of student unions in educational institutions so that students can elect their own leadership to get resolved their issues.

He said not only in educational institutions but also at workplaces women are clearly discriminated. Women workers are given less wages despite they work as hard as male workers. The employers and administrators harass them, also sexually. The protest demanded that urgent notice should be taken of harassment and torture of female students and actual culprits should be punished after free and fair investigation. Steps should be taken to stop sexual harassment cases in future.

In case of sexual harassment of female students, the heads of related departments and hostel in-charges should be sacked and investigation initiated against them. Students, especially female students should be given full protection and security. Unannounced martial law in educational institutions of Sindh should be ended and democratic traditions promoted there. Male and female workers should given equal wages in factories and workplaces and vigilance committees should be made to stop sexual harassment at workplaces.

Those spoke included HBWWF Saira Feroz, Young Workers Committee members Aqib Hussain and Shazia National Trade Union Federation Rafiq Baloch, Marxist intellectual Zubair Rehman and NTUF Sindh President Gul Rehman, young intellectual Sajjad Zaheer and others.

For more information, contact:
Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF)
726, Mashrique Centre, Block 14, Gulshan-e-Iqbal,
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-37075324