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Allegations of sexual harassment: How to make transparent investigation of such incidents possible?

The news about harassment of women in Pakistan is read out in the coming days, but now some news has come to harass men.

Whether it is the office, the market or the educational institutions, voices of harassment are heard from all sides.

Recently solo and semi-nude photos and videos of singer Rabbi Pirzada went viral on social media and his name continues to be a top trend on Twitter.

Not only that, suicide bombings have been reported at Balochistan University after allegedly making videos with secret cameras and blackmailing the students and accusing the lecturer of the MAO College, Lahore.

Remember that Afzal Mehmood, an English lecturer at MAO College, Lahore, Punjab province, did not issue a letter from the college administration despite allegations of harassment by a female student and the allegations in the investigation were not proved. Committed suicide on October 9.

Media Matters for Democracy, a non-governmental organization, has recently released a report on the harassment of journalist women on online platforms.

According to the report, 95% of journalists say that harassment on online platforms affects their work, and 77% report that they censor themselves.

Wherever the facts of the harassment are true, there are always doubts about investigating and verifying these allegations.

In the wake of these incidents, the BBC investigated the extent to which committees investigating allegations of harassment are formed and under which law and regulation such committees operate.

Law of Depression
According to Dr. Fauzia Saeed, a social worker who has a keen eye on the law of harassment, “We did a lot of research to make the law of harassment and it took us ten years.”

Dr. Fawzia said that women from all walks of life were researched to make this law and tried to find out what kind of problems women were facing in their institutions, after which a policy was formulated against harassment. That was later changed to law.

According to Dr. Fouzia, “it was felt that the law had some problems because it could not be applied to citizens who did not work for a regular institution, such as women working in the fields or harassing at bus stops. Women suffering from. ‘

He said that the law was amended to address these issues.

Fauzia Saeed said that this law was made for both men and women and till this time debate has been going on in this regard, but at that time we were told that this law will be made only for women.

Option to create a Harassment Committee
Dr Fauzia said that in general, administrative supervision of the institutions constitutes a harassment committee, whereas in educational institutions the authority is with the Vice Chancellor or the Principal.

The BBC contacted various agencies to confirm that it was found that the heads of the companies constituted these committees.

Referring to the MAO College case, Dr Fawzia said, “If a senior official of the administration says that the government did not cooperate with us on this matter, he should read the law himself, considering his position. Which is written in a very simple language. ‘

He added that when you hold a high office, you must know the basic rules of inquiry.

“If someone says that we do not know how to inquire or we do not know the law then he is not eligible for this position.”

Remember that former Principal of MAO College Dr Farhan Prasad told the BBC that he did not know that after the inquiry was completed Afzal had to issue a written letter.

However, Dr Fouzia said that whenever an inquiry into such an allegation is made, after completion of it, the complainant and the accused, both parties, have to be informed of the result of the written inquiry.

She says, “We have often seen that the issue is politicized in institutions.”

Are members of the Harassment Committee given any training?
Dr. Fouzia said that members of the Investigative Committee are given regular training. He says members of the Investigation Committee are given two to three days of training while senior management is given one day training.

Remember that Dr Aaliyah, the head of the MO College Incident Harassment Committee, told the BBC: “We usually conduct inquiries according to our intellect and make decisions.”

When the BBC spoke to people affiliated with other universities, most people responded that they were not given training, but often were trained in large private companies.

According to Dr Fauzia, she has been training for the past eight years on these issues.

He added that in the selection of the people of this committee, it is important to keep in mind that the person is credible and can communicate easily with the people.

However, it is the responsibility of senior management to inform their people in this regard and at the same time write about the law in every institution so that people can know about it.

Depreciation minute Committee must be satisfied in the case of the action?

Dr Fauzia told the BBC: “If a person is suspicious of the committee, he can take his complaint and go to the Ombudsman.” If the Committee has made a decision which you think is not based on justice, then you have the power to appeal to the Ombudsman.

He further said that any person who complains or has been charged in such matters can go to the Ombudsman to complain to senior management and if you feel that the Ombudsman is also your If you are not listening to the complaint seriously, you may want to go to court.

“In such cases you do not have to go to the police because you can submit your application to the court,” she says.

However, the company cannot prosecute the accuser in case of false accusation. The determination of the punishment of such person is the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.

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