MIRPUR (AJK)  -    Kashmala Tariq, Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace, said that the government was fully determined to raise awareness among the womenfolk to secure their legal and constitutional rights in the country.

She was talking to Sahibzadi Marziyaa Sultana Faizpuri, a renowned scholar from Mirpur, Azad Jammu Kashmir, who called on her in her office in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The federal ombudsperson said that it was imperative that women in Pakistan should be apprised and made fully aware of their due rights. She underlined that various laws against the harassment of women had been inked so far for due assistance of the women including working women.

Kashmala Tariq said that the government was committed to create a safe working environment for women. “In this regard, an Act of Parliament for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace has been promulgated,” she added. “This Act had been built on the principles of equal opportunity for men and women and their right to earn a livelihood without fear of discrimination as stipulated in the Constitution,” she underlined. The Act also complies with the government’s commitment to high international labour standards and empowerment of women. It also adheres to the Human Rights Declaration, the United Nation’s Convention for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and ILO’s convention 100 and 111 on workers’ rights. “It adheres to the principles of Islam and all other religions in our country that assure women’s dignity,” Kashmala told Sahibzadi Marziyaa.

Kashmala Tariq said that the days had gone when the woman was made victim of highhandedness considering her a weak human being.

Apprising the Federal Ombudsperson of the plight of women in Azad Jammu Kashmir, Sahibzadi Marziyaa Sultana said that due legislation was also imperative to be inked to secure and protect the rights of women in Azad Jammu Kashmir, which, she emphasized, could ensure more safety of the women in the state.

Sahibzadi Marziyaa recalled that in fact the prevailing laws for women protection in the country were the same as Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had taught at several occasions.

Sahibzadi Marziyaa underlined that the cases of harassment of women through cyber crime and domestic violence were also reported in AJK which were intended to create dissention and hatred against women. She emphasised the need for raising awareness among women about their self protection.

The federal ombudsperson praised various positive and constructive steps taken by Sahibzadi Marziyaa Sultana Faizpuri-led Women Forum for the protection and welfare of women in various parts of AJK especially in Mirpur. Kashmala lauded the measures initiated as first step for the safety and security of the rights of women in the state.