SBP issues guidelines to comply with Anti Harassment Law


The State Bank of Pakistan has issued instructions to all the banks to comply with the `Protection Against Harassment of Women at Work Place Act 2010″ displaying the Code of Conduct within their premises.

The banks are also directed to form specific committees to address these complaints and ensure conducive environment for working women.

The progress on implementation process was shared in the second meeting of Implementation Watch Committee here.

The National Implementation Watch Committee formed on the instructions of the Prime Minister on the platform of National Commission on the Status of Women aimed is to oversee the implementation process of the anti sexual harassment legislation passed in March 2010 by the present government.

The Chairperson of watch committee, Dr Fauzia Saeed appreciated this effort of the Bank immensely and said the provinces are now getting into the momentum and Punjab and Sindh governments have already initiated actions for implementation within the provincial departments and at the district level.

However, she said that after the initial impetus the work needs to go on for sustained impact.

It was informed by the committee that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been very committed to this process and has already been working on guidelines for all the universities of the country.

They have worked with the Implementation Watch Committee to ensure compliance with the new law while their guidelines will be disseminated to all the universities within a month.

The committee informed that some of the private sector companies like ICI, Engro, Lever brothers, Telenor, Lakson, and hotels like Serena and Marriott had their people trained by AASHA and have shown high level of commitment to take the agenda forward.

Among the government, the PM secretariat, Planning Commission and the Establishment Division are taking the lead in getting the law implemented in the Federal Government.

Out of 44 Federal ministries 31 have complied with the law however, thirteen have still not done that despite the instructions of the PM.

One hundred and twenty (120) trainers were trained by AASHA in various sectors like government organizations, private sector, academia, media and law enforcing agencies to prepare resource persons who would then conduct awareness raising sessions in their own sectors.

Director Human Rights Commission, I.A. Rehman, also appreciated the work done so far by the members and said that “We should build on the positive work that has already been done”.

Ehsan Sadiq, from Islamabad police said that the police is planning to have three lady complaint cell and are thinking of other strategies to get the mindset changed.

Talking about the passage of the rules and establishment of the ombudsperson, Ministry of Women was requested to expedite the process.

The meeting was attended by members including Omar Hameed Khan, PM secretariat, representatives of other Ministries; Auditor General’s office, Women’s Ministry and FBR. Others include representatives of Pakistan Business Council, AASHA members and Deputy MD of Pakistan Television Shahid Mehmood Nadeem.

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