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Govenrment of Pakistan

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NCSW Rebuts Baseless Report

Sep 06, 2015

Press Release: NCSW Rebuts Baseless Report

NCSW is shocked at the baseless news report filed by your reporter Azam Khan,  HEC stance: Senate misled on fate of workplace harassment bill.  He wrongly alleges that the Chairperson of NCSW misled the Senate (upper house of Pariament) by stating that the Higher Education Commission has developed  policy guidelines on sexual harassment at workplace. According to the reporter HEC spokesperson denied that HEC ever produced such a document. One expects more thorough checking from a reporter of  the Express Tribune. It would have been wiser for Mr.Azam to substantiate his information before making irresponsible statements. HEC website carries the document entitled, "Policy Guidelines Against Sexual Harassment in Institutions of Higher Learning". This document was brought to NCSW's notice by a university professor at a consultation organised by NCSW with University professors. The policy guidelines were subsequently also shared with Senator Farhatullah Babar who had proposed the amendments to the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act. 

 

HEC also Issued following letter to The Express Tribune Report on False Reporting:

Mr. Azam Khan,

This is with reference to your news item entitled,” Senate misled on fate of workplace harassment bill” where you have misquoted the Higher Education Commission spokesperson as saying that “HEC has never developed  any such policy guidelines on harassment.”

You may like to recall our conversation where you referred to the ‘recent development’ of Senator Babar placing a Bill . It was not mentioned nor clarified that the reference was many years old. Apparently you decided to do a story of which you had no background information and have built the whole story based on one out of context question which was responded to in the specific context that it was asked. The HEC stance as you have highlighted in the shoulder in fact that the Higher Education Commission launched “POLICY GUIDELINES AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING”  in 2011 after promulgation of Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010. The two documents complement each other, and HEC policy guidelines encompass all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This is an old policy initiatives and have many a times circulated to all HEIs.

HEC’s Spokesperson  clarified that no NEW Harassment Policy has been introduced by HEC, and did not imply that there exists no HEC’s prescribed Harassment Policy. Express Tribune is a serious, widely circulated  newspaper and such irresponsible reporting will not only bring it a bad name, but has presented false  information to the public in a four column news time reflecting adversely on the Higher Education Commission. Under the circumstances a fresh news item presenting the true status  may be published to clarify the confusion caused.

Please see the link of the Policy Guidelines Against Sexual Harassment at HEC website: http://www.hec.gov.pk/MediaPublication/News/Pages/PGSHHIES.aspx

Regards,

Aayesha Ikram

Director Media/Publications

Higher Education Commission

H-9, Islambad Pakistan

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