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‘Good morning’ texts are harassment: ombudsperson

March 19, 2019
Urges women being harassed to lodge complaints online

If you send someone a text message saying “Good morning” it could be called harassment, said Kashmala Tariq, who is the Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplaces. 

“Harassment isn’t just physical it can also be mental,” she said while speaking to the media at the Rawalpindi chamber of commerce on Tuesday. Ms Tariq added that if someone is continuously insisting that you go for a cup of tea with them even that can be categorized as harassment. She urged women being harassed to lodge complaints online at the harassment center. She also said that men should give women their space so they can both work together peacefully.

A work place harassment law was passed in 2010. The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010 states that harassment is the following:

1. Any unwelcome sexual advance

2. Request for sexual favors or

3. Other verbal or written communication or physical conduct of a sexual nature

4. Sexually demeaning attitudes

5. Causing interference with work performance

6. Creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment

7. An attempt to punish a complainant for refusal to comply with such a request

And it is also harassment if you make these a condition for employment or say that the woman or man can only get the job if she or he complies with your requests.

The law also says that these rules on unacceptable behavior in an organization or workplace apply to anyinteraction or situation linked to official work outside the office. Women in Pakistan form 24% of the workforce despite being 49% of the population.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Mahira Ali   March 21, 2019 1:21 pm/ Reply

    Let’s not get the “good morning” wrong. Cyber harassment exists. We need to be aware and understand the message. Before mobiles, people were very decent about a greeting or communication for that matter. If someone is not known to you, for what reason are they contacting you? If you know someone, friend or associate I think the greetings would be welcomed. But we need to understand the message, intention with which it is sent. Don’t respond, unless you want too, as this will mean you’ve accepted the greeting and invitation to continue conversing.

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