Accused of Harassment Headmaster Loses Job After Punjab Ombudsperson Finds Him Guilty

Punjab Ombudsperson Rukhsana Gilani on Monday decided a sexual harassment case in Lahore. The complaint was registered against headmaster of special education centre by a teacher for harassment at workplace.

The female teacher (complainant) said that the headmaster had been harassing her ever since she was appointed at the centre. Though she avoided interactions but whenever they crossed paths, the headmaster would utter sleazy poems and even tried to hold her hand once. She added that after she continued to snub her offensive advances and upon feeling rejected, he even tried to initiate departmental inquiries against her.

After hearing both sides and thoroughly investigating the matter, the ombudsperson found the headmaster guilty of sexually harrasing the teacher and ordered to urgently remove him from the position.

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A source in FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) confirmed that in the year 2018, about 335 complaints of harassment and blackmailing were filed by women belonging to Lahore. After an investigation, 31 of those cases were finalised as FIRs.
Workplace harassment remains a concerning problem for Pakistan. A few months back, Dawn News conducted a survey taking a sample of 300 women. They were questioned whether women were made to stay silent about workplace harassment. 61% said that they were not coerced by their employers to stay quiet but 35% told they were pressurised to stay silent by their co-workers and bosses. Coming to formal reporting mechanisms, only 17% approached their organization’s internal inquiry committees due to lack f faith in the process.
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