UN Women, Ombudsperson Balochistan ink accord to fight harassment at workplaces

Date: Friday, December 20, 2019

Author: Habib Asgher

Photo: UN Women/Habib Asgher
Photo: UN Women/Habib Asgher

[Press release]

Islamabad, Pakistan — UN Women Pakistan has entered into an agreement with the Office of Ombudsperson Balochistan to work together in order to fight harassment of women at the workplace. Aisha Mukhtar, Deputy Country Representative UN Women Pakistan, and Sabira Islam, Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment Balochistan, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here at the Country Office of UN Women on Friday.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Director Women Development Department (WDD) Balochistan, Noor Mubashir Sami; Assistant Director Gender WDD Balochistan, Rukhsana Baloch; Manager EVAW, Governance & Human Rights UN Women Pakistan, Saman Ahsan; EVAW Advisor UN Women Pakistan, Younas Khalid; Head of Provincial Office UN Women Balochistan, Ayesha Wadood; and other senior officials from the Government of Balochistan.

According to the MoU, data collection mechanisms will be improved and strengthened for better data collection and reporting and to assess the trends through reported cases. The signatories have agreed to enhance provincial mechanisms for responding to cases of harassment through development of training materials and training of trainers. UN Women and Office of Ombudsperson will cooperate on capacity building of anti-harassment cells and inquiry committees to deal with cases of harassment as well as awareness raising on harassment laws and compliance requirements.

Sabira Islam expressed her gratitude to UN Women Pakistan and WDD Balochistan for supporting the efforts of the Office of Ombudsperson in protecting women and girls from harassment at the workplace. “We are planning to work together to ensure that there is effective implementation of workplace harassment laws across the province in order to enable women reach their full potential, feel protected at workplaces and actively take part in economic activities,” she remarked.

(from right) Ombudsperson Balochistan Ms Sabira Islam and Deputy Country Representative UN Women Pakistan Ms Aisha Mukhtar. Photo: UN Women/Habib Asgher
(from right) Ombudsperson Balochistan Ms Sabira Islam and Deputy Country Representative UN Women Pakistan Ms Aisha Mukhtar. Photo: UN Women/Habib Asgher

Aisha Mukhtar welcomed the personal interest of Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal in establishing harassment cells at district level across the province. She reiterated UN Women’s commitment towards strengthening institutions and mechanisms for preventing and addressing sexual harassment at workplace. “Harassment at the workplace holds women back from progressing as they embark on a journey of social and career development. They have a fundamental and legal right to work in a safe environment, which is free from harassment and discrimination. The Office of the Ombudsperson has a crucial role to play in ensuring effective implementation of the harassment laws.”

Director WDD Noor Mubashir Sami expressed his department’s commitment to continue supporting the Ombudsperson’s Office to make sure that the women of Balochistan feel safe and protected as they step out to pursue an education or take part in economic activities.

For media related queries:

Habib Asgher
Communications Officer, UN Women Pakistan
T: 0346-8502180