End to sexual harassment at schools, workplaces demanded

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Irfan Aligi

A protest of laborers and their trade union here Saturday demanded that the culprits who killed medical student Nimarta Chandani after rape in a medical university of Larkana should be given exemplary punishment, besides stopping all types of sexual harassment at workplaces and educational institutions.
According to details, Home-based Women Workers Federation and Young Workers Committee jointly organized a protest demo against sexual harassment of women at workplaces and educational institutions, led by HBWWF general secretary Zehra Khan and Young Workers Committee leader Aqib Hussain.
Addressing the demo, Zehra Khan said that in Sindh and other provinces the ugly incidents of harassment of female students in educational institutions and women workers at workplaces are rising with every passing day. She regretted that administration instead of stopping such incidents often tries to hush these matters up or give them some other color so that the actual culprits go scot-free. She said the situation is getting worse, which is alarming.
She said it is a great tragedy that the higher administration of the Sindh government-run medical university in Larkana had dubbed the rape-murder of medical student Nimarta as a suicide. She demanded that the vice chancellor of this university should be immediately sacked and strict action should be taken against her for her biased role in this highly sensitive case.
National Trade Union Federation General Secretary Nasir Mansoor said that sexualharassment cases in educational institutions are rising and it is becoming difficult for female students to get education. He said this trend would further promote reactionary ideology and religious extremism in our society. He said if this sexual harassment continued in our educational institutions, more and more parents would find it very difficult to send their daughters to colleges and universities.
Young Workers Committee leader Shah Faisal said that in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh province, rangers and FC personnel are present in universities in the name of security, but still the cases are sexual harassment of female students occur there, which is a tragedy.
He said in the name of security our educational institutions are turned into virtual jails. He said democratic traditions and culture is being ended in our campuses.