Workplace Sexual Harassment and its Underreporting in Pakistan

  • Abdul Hadi

Abstract

Sexual harassment in workplace is a reflection of unequal power relationship among genders and should not be seen as isolated cases emanating from psychological or criminal roots. The practice of sexual harassment in the workplace occurs in occupations and industries which turns working environment for women into stressful, damaging, and hostile and make it difficult for them to achieve their rightful place in employment. Sexual harassment in the workplace is the most frequent form of gender-based violence occurring in Pakistani society characterized by patriarchy and gender segregation. When women attempt to join workforce and take economic responsibilities of family in opposite to predominating social norms, they have to suffer from sexual harassment. This speaks not just to the structure of the work place, but the entrenched culture of female objectification, which quite often paints women as mere recipients for male desire – views that are reproduced and perpetuated in a work place. This study is an endeavor to spot the causes of sexual harassment in the workplace in Pakistan; and what are the underlying factors which lead to under-reporting of the incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace. This study asserts that the patriarchal values prevailing in Pakistani society breed sexual harassment in the workplace also preclude victims to report the incidence by not giving them appropriate moral, cultural and legal support. This study argues that in an environment like Pakistan where rule of law is not prevalent in entire society so just having policies and awareness regarding these policies could not be a valid and significant element for lowering the sexual harassment experience in the workplace. Sexual Harassment in the workplace reflects the unequal power relationships between genders in patriarchy society of Pakistan and cannot be combated until patriarchal mindsets are changed which can be achieved only by transforming the existing patriarchal society itself that is producing such mindsets.
Published
May 16, 2018
How to Cite
HADI, Abdul. Workplace Sexual Harassment and its Underreporting in Pakistan. European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 1, p. 148-153, may 2018. ISSN 2411-4138. Available at: <http://journals.euser.org/index.php/ejis/article/view/3267>. Date accessed: 18 july 2018. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.26417/ejis.v10i1.p148-153.