AASHA – Alliance Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace – presented an award to Aga Khan University in recognition of its conscious efforts to create a safe and enabling work environment for women, especially through its School of Nursing. The award was presented at AASHA’s 10th Working Women’s Assembly in Islamabad on December 22, 2010, with over 400 working women in attendance, all the way from Nagarparker to Peshawar.
Ten organisations that have shown commitment to the rights of working women were honoured, with the awards being presented by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Dr Rafat Jan, Associate Professor and Director, Midwifery Programme accepted the award on behalf of AKU and the School of Nursing.
In close collaboration with the Government of Pakistan, AASHA is currently working towards creating awareness about existing legislation, the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010, as a step towards ensuring its implementation nationwide. Under the law, harassment is defined as “any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours or other verbal or written communication or physical conduct of a sexual nature or sexually demeaning attitude” that would interfere with a woman’s work performance or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. It also covers attempts to punish the complainant for refusal to comply with such a request or is made a condition for continued employment.
All organisations, including federal and provincial government ministries, departments, corporations, educational institutions, private commercial or industrial organisations and registered civil society associations are required to follow the act.
Other guests present at the event were the Chairman of the Senate, the Speaker of National Assembly, the Federal Minister for Population Welfare, Dr Firdaus Ashiq Awan, Minister for Women Development, Shahnaz Wazir Ali and Advisor to the PM, Yasmeen Rehman. Narmeen Lakhani, Senior Communication Officer, Examination Board, Pakistan; Tel: +92 21 3522 4702-9; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org