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Abstract

Sexual harassment infringes the fundamental human rights of women. It restricts the most important segment of society from demonstrating their full potential and their right to work and attain equal opportunity. The quantum of this behaviour in a society can only be evaluated when women in general are fully aware of the nature of this behaviour and the legal protection available. Sexual harassment is an ambiguous term for many; when hearing of an incident of sexual harassment, many might not understand exactly what crime has been committed. Under which category does it fall? What if the complainant is lying? Pakistan has enacted special and general laws to fight the epidemic of sexual harassment. This article presents the appraisal and implementation of all the prevailing laws related to sexual harassment of women in Pakistan. It examines the hurdles, restraints, and resistance women have faced during the course of adjudication and determination of such matters due to various factors including social barricades that persist in this society. This qualitative and quantitative study examined whether the prevailing laws sufficiently cover the full nature, scope, and underlying themes of sexual harassment through implementation, by analyzing the procedures adopted at the time of implementations. I also explored whether sexual harassment is really a form of discrimination and what prevailing laws should entail to combat the practice and whether the law is generally accepted by the social community because of certain intrinsic differences. The study also recommended changes and additions to the existing methods and procedures in the laws, policies, and guidelines and implementations and examined how rampant sexual harassment is in the workplace, and whether employers address harassment through policies, training, and acting on complaints.

Note on the Author

Malieka Farah Deeba Malik, is currently working as Head of Department Law/ Senior Assistant Professor Law, Bahria University, Islamabad, Pakistan. She is LLM in International Economic Law from the University of Warwick, UK. Her professional career is a mix bag of diverse legal experience, initially as corporate commercial lawyer then an ardent litigator, as astute in-house counsel, a full-scale law teacher and finally as Head of Department of Law. She is responsible in particular, but not limited to, academic management, strategic planning and development in order for the department to achieve the highest possible standards of excellence in all activities. In addition to foregoing, she has been conferred upon functions to represent various committees constituted under the Bahria University such as, working as Chairperson of Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee, Legal Member/Secretary Appellate Committee on HR issues, Member Bahria Selection Board, Member Scholarship Committee, Member Intellectual Property Committee etc. Contact her at hodlaw.buic@bahria.edu.pkor mfd.malik@gmail.com.

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