Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information and Culture, Mian Iftikhar Hussain has said that the provincial government would ensure protection of the women folk at any place, including a workplace and action would be taken against those involved in sexually harassing the women under the section 509 Cr.P.C. This he stated while talking to the counsellor of Alliance Against Sexual Harassment At the Workplace (AASHA) Mst. Khurshid Banu at Peshawar on Saturday.
It may be recalled that the government has under section 509 Cr.P.C made sexual harassment of women at any place including a workplace, a crime which is punishable by a fine upto Rs. 5 lac or imprisonment upto 3 year or both.
The Information Minister maintained, earlier, sexual harassment of women was considered only as social evil but now the government has notified it a crime under the law. He added that he thinks, there should be a protection on gender basis as not only women but sometime man could become victim of harassment by women also.
Mian Iftikhar said that the issue of women was very sensitive and it should be dealt with intense care. He said that a particular portion of society was against the rights of women and their working outside their homes which was a great tragedy of the society. He furthered that we should not consider women separate part but we should take them in the day-to-day life.
The Information Minister continued that the stance of ANP regarding the rights of women was very clear as its great leader Fakhre Afghan Bacha Khan had talked about the rights of women at a time when no one could think of it. He (Bacha Khan), in his magazine “Pakhtoon” in 1930 debated upon the rights of women and reserved a particular space in it for women where they were openly discussing their issues and problems, he asserted. He added that Bacha Khan not only provide equal opportunities to his women in education, politics and other social sectors but also gave them their inheritance rights.
Mian Iftikhar assured the AASHA that he would extend all possible help in the awareness campaign through media regarding the law of sexual harassment of women and also issue directives to his subordinate departments to immediately implement the said law in letter and spirit.
For more information, contact:
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Tel: +9291 921 6889 (Ext 106)