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Pakistan drafts new bill to make it illegal to harass transwomen in the workplace

The new bill will allow transgender people facing harassment at work to lodge a complaint

2018-12-21

Pakistan has drafted a new bill to make it illegal to harass transgender women in the workplace.

In a new landmark move, the Sindh province drafted the bill to amend the 2010 Federal Government law to make it more inclusive of gender as the Minister for Women Development, Shehla Raza, said it did meet the needs of women.

She told The Express Tribune: “It is not merely for women’s rights. All employees irrespective of his/her gender facing harassment at the workplace can lodge a complaint.

“For the first time in Pakistan’s history, we have given equal rights to transgender people.

“Widespread complaints from working about harassment are pouring in. After the 18th Amendment, federal laws are ineffective, hence we are going to make our own law to create a safe environment for all genders.

“We will take equal action if a woman harasses a man.”

Those convicted under the Sindh Harassment and Workplace Bill 2018 will face criminal charges and could potentially be fired from their jobs.

In the bill, it outlines what constitutes harassment as a ‘request for sexual favours, sexually demeaning attitude, creating an offensive environment, offering job, promotion, wage increase, training opportunity and transfer from one location to another’.

If the bill becomes law, a special ombudsman will be set up to recruit staff to implement the law and receive complaints.