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Photo: Cloudfront
Photo: Cloudfront
What is the future of workplace harassment in Pakistan?

Workplace harassment became the talk of the town when a video of a male bank employee allegedly groping his female counterpart went viral on November 7, 2020. The video caught up like wildfire and people took to social media to express their sentiments and views over the case. Many commented on it being workplace harassment which women are a victim of on a daily basis.

Strict action was demanded and a campaign to put this case forward was initiated.

The employee was soon identified as Usman Gohar, manager of the bank’s branch in Islamabad. A statement was issued by the bank stating termination of the employee for violation of conduct, HR policies and legal requirements.

A tweet by the Human Right Minister, Shireen Mazari surfaced regarding the arrest of the bank employee on November 8, 2020.

The bank’s recent policy of “loose clothing and compulsory hijab” was also under hot waters after the harassment case surfaced.

On a contrary the video was deemed consensual and lack of resistance was questioned.

A BBC Urdu video soon came forward with women’s reaction towards harassment. Many stated how they were left in shock and unable to respond in their encounters. This video became a counter argument by women which came like an uproaring cry about harassment they face in both public and private places.

Harassment, a sensitive topic was discussed yet again, to understand the intensity of the crime and its social dynamics.

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