Sexual harassment is a traumatic problem worldwide, and sadly, Pakistan is no different. This article talks about what’s going on with sexual harassment in Pakistan why everyone needs to know about it, and its potential solutions.
Society and Culture Get in the Way
In Pakistan, the way things have always been can make it hard to stop sexual harassment. People have these ideas about how men and women should act, and that makes it tough for women to deal with harassment.
In Pakistan, deeply ingrained socio-cultural norms often contribute to the perpetuation of sexual harassment. According to a survey conducted by Human Rights Watch, 75% of women in Pakistan have experienced some form of harassment in public spaces due to societal expectations and traditional gender roles.
The Human Rights Watch survey also highlighted that women from marginalized communities often face higher rates of harassment due to intersecting factors of gender and socio-economic disparities. Implementing community-based programs to address these specific challenges becomes crucial.
Statistics and Realities
While there are laws in place, their efficacy remains questionable. According to Transparency International, corruption within the legal system in Pakistan undermines the enforcement of anti-harassment laws, allowing perpetrators to escape justice.
Transparency International’s research underscores the need for targeted initiatives to address corruption within the legal system. Advocacy for judicial reforms and transparency measures can contribute significantly to closing these gaps.
The underreporting of incidents is a significant issue. A study by the Aurat Foundation reveals that only 5% of sexual harassment cases get reported due to societal stigma and a lack of confidence in the legal system.
Aurat Foundation’s study also indicates that a substantial number of victims avoid reporting due to fear of retaliation. Establishing confidential reporting mechanisms and support networks can encourage more victims to come forward.
Workplaces are not immune to harassment either. The Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research reports that 1 in 3 working women in Pakistan faces harassment at their workplace, highlighting the need for a safer professional environment
What Can Help
Pakistan’s First Female Safety and Security Service “Iyzil”
In response to the growing concerns about harassment in Pakistan, there’s a solution stepping up for women’s safety. It’s called Iyzil, and it’s Pakistan’s first smart security app just for women. This app is like a superhero in your pocket, working 24/7 to keep you safe. With Iyzil, if you ever feel unsafe, you can send an alert in three easy ways – through the app, by shaking your phone, or by tapping the volume button three times.
But wait, there’s more! Iyzil has a feature where you can instantly let your friends and family know where you are and how much battery you’ve got left. It’s like having your own security team at your fingertips. And to make things even better, Iyzil has smart features that are tailor-made for women in Pakistan. So, while we’re all working together to tackle harassment, Iyzil is doing its part by making sure women feel safer and more empowered.
Learning More About It
Teach People What’s Right
Education is a big part of changing things. Making sure everyone knows about respect, saying no, and treating everyone equally can make a big difference.
It’s important to talk openly about harassment. Sharing their stories makes it easier for others to do the same and get the help they need.
Making Things Better
Make Laws Stronger
Advocating for stricter enforcement of existing laws and potentially introducing more stringent legislation can act as a deterrent to potential harassers and provide justice to victims.
Businesses Can Do Better
Companies and organizations must take an active stance against workplace harassment. Implementing and enforcing strict anti-harassment policies, coupled with employee training, can contribute to creating safer work environments.
PILER’s research emphasizes that industries with predominantly female workforces, such as the garment and textile sectors, often witness higher rates of workplace harassment. Tailoring interventions for specific industries is essential for meaningful change.
The Bottom Line
To wrap it up, fixing sexual harassment in Pakistan means doing a lot of things, changing the rules, teaching people what’s right, and making sure everyone feels safe. If we all work together, we can make a difference.