Harassment Laws That Every Pakistani Should Be Aware Of

According to the statistics, 99% of women in Pakistan have faced some form of harassment once in their lifetimes, but if you travel by public transport, it may be your plight daily.

However, the dilemma even worse is that women are not aware of their legal rights and how Pakistani law empowers them against harassers.

Following are the harassment laws that every Pakistani should be aware of:

  1. If a drunk person appears in any public place, causing annoyance to any person he can be punished with imprisonment or fine or both under Section 510 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
  2. If a person labels any woman, utters any disrespectful word or by the gesture he’s liable to the punishment of three years or fine or both under Section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
  3. If a girl under the age of 18 is forced to perform physical intercourse is liable to the punishment of 10 years and fine under Section 366A of Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
  4. If a person demands sexual favours and uses a verbal or non-verbal form of communication to annoy or insult, the person is liable to the punishment of three years or fine or both under Section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
  5. If a person makes a false accusation of fornication against any female, he is liable to five years of prison with fine under Section 495C of Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
  6. If a person assaults, uses criminal force against any women stripping her off her clothes, exposing her to public view, he is liable to be punished with death or imprisonment for life along with fine under Section 354A of Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
  7. If a person uses any indecent or vulgar language in any public place with an intention to offend, he is liable to the punishment of three years along with fine under Section 294 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
  8. According to Section 2 (H) of Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010, any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours or any verbal or physical conduct that falls in the category causing interference with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, he can be liable following penalties:Minor penalties:

    Censure

    Withholding for a specific period, promotion or increment

    Stoppage for a specific period

    Recovery of compensation, payable to the complainant from pay or any other source of the accused

    Major Penalties:

    Reduction to a lower post

    Compulsory retirement

    Removal from service

    Dismissal from service or fine

    1. According to Section 3 of Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010, each organization has to constitute an inquiry committee to inquire into complaints made against workplace harassment. The committee should comprise of three members and one should be a woman.

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