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Kp government has two months to appoint ombudsperson

Sep 22, 2017

PESHAWAR: In a victory for working women across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the Peshawar High Court on Thursday directed the provincial government to appoint a woman ombudsperson.

The K-P government has been given two months to hire the official under the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010 (PAHWWA 2010). Under the act, the federal and provincial governments are bound to appoint an ombudsperson to hear cases of harassment of women at workplaces.

More committees formed for harassment at workplace

The order was passed by the Peshawar High court’s (PHC) two-member bench comprising Justice Qaisar Rasheed and Justice Ghazanfar Khan heard a writ petition filed by the head of a non-governmental organisation.

Petitioner Khurshid Bano, chief executive of the Da Hawwa Lur, (Daughter of The eve), told the court that the governments of Punjab and Sindh have already appointed ombudspersons but the K-P and Balochistan provinces have yet to follow suit despite the passage of seven years since the law was passed.

“Due to the non-availability of a proper forum, most of the women fail to lodge their complaints and get justice,” she said.

Additional Advocate General Moinuddin Humayun, while representing the K-P government, told the court that the government, instead of appointing and creating a separate office, has started the process of authorising the provincial ombudsman to hear harassment cases.

Laws against harassment at workplace remain impotent

He pointed out that under Section 7 of the PAHWWA 2010, the ombudspersons have to be a former judge of the high court judge or qualified to be appointed as a high court judge.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2017.

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