This Is A Crash Course On Sexual Harassment & You Need To Tag All Those Who Lack Basics!

Crash Course on Sexual Harassment
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“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

In the last few years, the prevalent crime of sexual harassment and its consequences have risen to the foreground, all thanks to the efforts of some brave women and men who decided to share their traumatic stories under the #MeToo campaign.

The movement also reached Pakistan in 2018 under which many Pakistani women outed their harassers on social media. The survivors’ stories encouraged more people to name and shame their predators and thus, started a much-needed national discussion about the ill that has been rotting our society since its conception.

Read: #MeToo: The Case Of Sarmad Sehbai And Tubbo Khan And The Silence Of Mainstream Media

That said, there are still many misconceptions about the term, “sexual harassment” among the Pakistani masses. A large chunk of Pakistan’s population till this day remains unaware of what counts as sexual harassment and what legal solutions are there to bring the harasser to justice.

This crash course on sexual harassment is an effort to help these Pakistanis catch up with the basics so that next time when someone comes forward with their #MeToo confession, their accusations are not dismissed impulsively.

Read: Hollywood Male Celebrities Who Have Bravely Come Forward With Their #MeToo Stories

First thing’s first, here is a textbook definition of Sexual Harassment.

Sexual Harassment is bullying or coercion of a sexual nature or an unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. Please, also keep in mind that a harasser can be a male or a female or even can be of the same sex as the victim.

In Pakistan alone, hundreds of sexual harassment cases occur every year, majority of which go unreported due to reasons uncountable.

One of the factors behind the under-reporting of this widespread crime is ignorance as to what counts as harassing someone sexually. For this, one must know that there are different types of harassment. The most common ones are:

  • Verbal sexual harassment such as catcalling, getting whistled at or getting unwelcomed comments
  • Unwelcomed sexual touch
  • Cybersexual harassment
  • Being physically stalked
  • Staring
  • Invading personal space

Teaching the good and the bad touch…

We need to do away with the condemnable practice of victim blaming. However, there’s a dire need to educate people about the good and the bad touch at an early age so that even if not able to defend, they’re at least able to understand what happened was wrong and cannot be gaslighted.

Read: #MeToo: New Screenshots Of Junaid Akram’s Inappropriate Chat With A Fan Surface!

Anti-sexual harassment training programs should also be conducted at all levels of educational institutes, workplaces, factories in both urban and rural areas.

Awareness about the Legal Options

The government of Pakistan has passed some legislature acts to enable a safe and secure environment like “The protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2010.” But there’s still a long way to go both in terms of implementation and policymaking!

There are many organizations in Pakistan that provide pro bono legal help to harassment survivors.

Apart from that, the current legal system in Pakistan, although unequipped to create a safe environment, does have certain laws that can ensure the protection of women. One such example is Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 which states that if a person insults the modesty of any woman, utter any word, makes any sound or gesture, they are liable to be punished with imprisonment for 3 years.

Read: 10 Nasty Comments Women Have To Hear When They Share Their #MeToo Story!

But unfortunately, only lawyers and lawmakers are aware of these laws!

This is the reason why, alongside advocating for policies to counter sexual harassment and gender-based violence, we also need to educate our women about the already existing laws that can put their sinner behind the bars.

If this crash course allowed you to learn a thing or two about sexual harassment, share it with others to spread the awareness!


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