NA body defers women harassment bill

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights on Friday put on hold the “Harassment of Women at Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2014” and decided to take it up in its next meeting.
A senate committee also treated a similar kind of bill in the same fashion the other day when the opinion of the Law D was sought on it. The two bills came in the parliamentary committees at a time when incidents of women harassment have risen in the country, the latest being in the Quaid-e-Azam University where a female student was allegedly harassed by her male teacher. The Harassment of Women at Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2014, moved by Asia Nasir, was discussed by the committee chaired by MNA Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk.
The committee was, however, told that through the amendments the scope of definitions of harassment, employees and employers is to be enhanced to provide protection to a wide array of employees, workers in both formal and informal sectors as well as to the students/trainees, from all forms of harassment at work in pursuit of studies/vocational training. The bill was deferred till the next meeting of the committee. The committee also reviewed the Hindu Marriage Bill, moved by Dr Darshan Ramesh Lal.
The law secretary informed the committee that the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights has obtained a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony and conducted a series of consultations with relevant federal ministries/divisions and National Commission on the Status of Women and finalise a draft for Hindu Marriage Bill 2014. He said that the bill is more comprehensive and conforms to the constitutional limits. After detailed discussion the committee concluded that the bill is in accordance with the feelings of the Hindu community. The committee in principal supported the bill; however, it deferred it for further study and more comprehensive drafting.

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