Sexual Harassment: A Threat To Gradual Women Emancipation
This article is an attempt to highlight gender-based attitude of society towards women. Women comprise approximately 50% of the total population of Pakistan; Pakistan cannot afford to keep half of its citizens inactive and their potential as participants in development and progress untapped. Nothing more than the misogynist view of women as weak in physical power and deficient in mental faculties has marred the upward movement of societies. Women who defy this erroneous obscurantist conceptualisation and step into public domain are forced either to step back or to make compromises with the situation at the cost of their self-esteem and dignity. This deviant social behaviour is identified as sexual harassment of women. Sexual harassment of women exists beyond geographic spaces, across historic times, and today is prevalent in all societies, developed or underdeveloped. Women are sexually harassed within the safe havens of their homes too. This paper examines how a combination of factors, including religious interpretations, social norms, state negligence, and bad governance result in creating and than perpetuating an antiwomen environment that breeds sexual harassment and solidifies patriarchal structures. The last section of this paper cites reported cases of sexual harassment at workplace that happened between 2001 and 2011. Summing up, the paper offers some suggestions to minimise work-place sexual harassment of women.
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Copyright (c) 2012 Shamreeza Riaz
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