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SU female students assured of protection against harassment

HYDERBAD: Speakers at a seminar on ‘Women protection and laws against women harassment’ held in Sindh University on Thursday in the backdrop of the Jan 2 suicide by its student, Naila Rind, encouraged women to move ahead with their academic activities without any fear and called for fair treatment of women by men in society.

Presided over by SU Vice Chan­cellor Prof Dr Fateh Mohammed Burfat, the seminar was attended by Hyderabad Commissioner Qazi Shahid Parvez, Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner Munawwar Ali Mahesar and SSP retired Captain Tariq Wilayat, besides the faculty and a large number of women students of the university.

VC Prof Fateh M. Burfat emphasised the need for changing socio-cultural behaviour and trends in society towards women “who are found insecure even within their families for a variety of reasons”. He said education, employment and empowerment were very important for women. “Woman signifies empowerment and is truly reflected in great Sufi saint Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai’s folktales. There is no hero, all heroines, in his poetry,” said the vice chancellor.

He said that Sindh University had already established a cell to address the issue of harassment of women. It would soon come up with a gender policy, he promised, and called for cooperation of the faculty and students in further developing this institution.

He observed that a particular feudalistic approach was responsible for mistreatment of women in the province. He emphasised the role of parents in bridging emotional, psychological and communication gap with their children.

This gap actually was largely responsible for major incidents involving women, he added.

However, the VC said, female student must continue their journey in quest of education and research at SU without any fear as being the vice chancellor, “I am like the father of all female faculty and students and will make sure that they stay safe and secure”.

Commissioner Qazi Shahid Pervez observed that if Pakistan had poor ranking in terms of gender issues, this showed a huge disconnect between the state and its citizens. Society would also have to come forward to put things on track because the state alone could not do anything, he said, adding that human civilisation had entered the era of knowledge where physical strength did not matter. He said laws on women’s rights existed and women must assert themselves.

Sindh Inspector General of Police A.D. Khowaja advised female students to use the social media honestly and write only such messages that they could share with father and brothers.

No one could dare blackmail them if they adhered to this advice, he said. He said it would be very unfortunate if parents stopped sending their daughters to educational institutions in the backdrop of the Naila Rind suicide case, which had shocked everyone.

He told women students not to be afraid of eve-teasers and not to consider themselves weak because they had to compete in society and lead it.

DIG Khadim Rind said that the anti-harassment cell for women victims was functioning in his office. Each and every complaint was investigated for which the cell formed committees, he said. This cell is also empowered to handle cases of domestic violence, according to him.

courtesy : dawn news

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