LAHORE:Punjab Minister for Women Development Department Ashifa Riaz Fatyana has said that the provincial government is taking practical steps to curb harassment at workplaces specially. She said that to end harassment, both males and females must follow the rules of equality everywhere in their lives.

She was speaking at the two-day training workshop on implementation of “The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010”, here on Friday. The event was organized jointly by Additional Chief Secretary Irum Bukhari, Women Development Department and Ombudsperson Punjab, along with UNFPA on the role of inquiry committees with special focus on role of duty-bearers and rights holders.

A total of 33 senior officers from 19 departments including Planning and Development, Women Development Department, Population Welfare Department, Punjab Commission on the Status of Women, Health, Punjab Safe City Authority, Energy and food attended the workshop. The provincial minister said that participants in the training had a responsibility to spread the awareness to everyone they come in contact with.

She said: “Life is very precious and a gift of Allah.” The harassment toolkit was an important weapon, but only if you use it properly we can make it a defence against all bad practices in our workplaces. She mentioned that upbringing of children was not only the responsibility of mothers, it was an equal responsibility of fathers as well. Take the learning of this training and take it to your offices as well as your homes and help us ensure dignified life for all men and women.

Nabila Malick, UN Women Technical Adviser to NCSW said that she was encouraged to see departments committing to ensuring proper implementation of the Act. The Act can ensure a dignified professional life to all women provided that all these laws enacted to ensure that are implemented in letter and spirit.

The participants vowed to ensure dignified workplaces for all and strengthen systems to address complaints of sexual harassment. They said they would make sure they have relevant information prominently displayed in their respective departments and have complaint boxes placed for easy access to all.