The recently passed Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Act, 2022 has been hailed as a ârevolutionary stepâ as the legislation seeks to broaden and reinforce the domain of the weaker 2010 law.
Formulated by the Federal Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR), several womenâs rights groups and lawyers were consulted during the drafting phase. The amendments made in the document ensure and facilitate the participation of women in the workplace. It also removes the gaps in the existing law.
Prominent womenâs and digital rights activist Nighat Dad hailed the passage of the law, taking to social media to express her views. In a tweet, she thanked the Ministry of Human Rights for its efforts in drafting the legislation and getting it passed.
The landmark amendment to the Protection of Women against Harassment at the Workplace Act has been notified today. This amendment has been made possible by the tireless efforts of @ShireenMazari1 @mohrpakistan & comes at the back of countless victims denied relief under the Act. pic.twitter.com/nZWxXPrir2
— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) January 28, 2022
Popular singer and womenâs rights activist Meesha Safi also took to Twitter to laud the Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari and others involved in the process of drafting and enacting the legislation. Tagging them in her tweet, she thanked the contributors saying âYou are all real life QUEENS!â.
âNotified today and has officially become the lawâ
You are all real life QUEENS! ðð§¿ðð¼ https://t.co/e3DUOFapKH
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) January 28, 2022
Lawyer Maimana Khattak, who was part of the drafting process, tweeted that she felt âhonouredâ to be part of the endeavor.
Honored to be a part of this endeavour by the Government https://t.co/LW84Gf49Wl
— Maimana (@maimanakhattak) January 28, 2022
Another lawyer named Nida called the event a âseminal win for the #MeToo movement in Pakistan todayâ. She said she was happy to see that gender-based discrimination was now covered by the harassment law.
Celebrating this seminal win for the #MeToo movement in Pakistan today – so happy to see gender-based discrimination brought within harassment law + casual / home-based workers + ex-employees brought within law's protection. Amendments highlighted here: https://t.co/pK00NMhVTg https://t.co/czdhwvKojP
— Nida (@nidafg_) January 29, 2022
International journalist Farhat Javed Rabani called it a massive development for working women in the country. She called on the public to read the document to learn which protection law applied to them.
A HUGE development for working women in Pakistan. Every single person here should read the document – Protection against Harassment at Workplace- to know what protection law ensures to them. Please never hesitate to file a complaint if you are harassed at workplace. https://t.co/ZQtNpcKf5k
— Farhat Javed Rabani (@FarhatJavedR) January 29, 2022
Digital journalist Laiba Zainab congratulated all the activists and lawyers involved in making the amendment. She praised the women who were victims and survivors of workplace harassment in her tweet.
— Laiba Zainab (@Laiba_Zainab) January 28, 2022
The parliament enacted the law on January 14 with President Arif Alvi giving his assent on January 21, bringing the law fully into force.
The legislation broadens the definition of workplace harassment and covers informal workers along with those employed in formal positions. It also includes students as well as those who face harassment at universities, schools and colleges and are unable to report it effectively. Artists, performers and freelancers are also covered within the law.