Rampant harassment of women in PIA, PTV

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Lahore, Mar.28 (ANI): President Asif Ali Zardari may have signed the anti-women harassment at workplace bill recently, but the 'weaker' section of society in Pakistan continues to be harassed at offices, including that of state run organisations such as the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Television (PTV).

According to a report, numerous reports of women being sexually harassed at their workplaces have been received by the National Assembly's (NA) Standing Committee for Women Rights, but there has been little or no action taken against whom complaints have been lodged.

Recently, a lady pilot of the PIA had filed a compliant against two instructors of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for sexually harassing her.

She had also lodged her complaint to the PIA's managing director (MD), but no action was taken on her application.

The lady pilot then approached the NA's Standing Committee, when the anti-women harassment bill was passed, following which the commission's chairperson Bushra Gohar ordered a high level inquiry and also summoned the PIA MD.

However, when asked about the case, a PIA spokesman described it as being 'not a big one'.

Instead, the spokesperson blamed the lady pilot, saying she had never brought the matter to the notice of the airline management.

" It is my duty to defend my department," the spokesperson said.

When asked about the whole issue of rampant harassment of women in state run organisations, a woman member of the National Assembly, Kashmala Tariq, admitted that the PIA and the PTV were the two main establishments against which maximum complaints of sexual harassment of working women has been received.

"The PIA's MD had tried to influence the inquiry of the standing committee, but it went in vain as the committee showed very solid evidence of the allegations levelled against him," The Nation quoted Tariq, as saying. (ANI)

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