Punjab Governor Directs Universities to Intensify Efforts in Combating Sexual Harassment

A Firm Stand Against Sexual Harassment

Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman has demonstrated a resolute commitment to tackling the issue of sexual harassment within universities. In a significant move, he issued an official directive on Friday, outlining a comprehensive framework designed to effectively prevent and address incidents of sexual harassment. This decisive action follows recent instances of harassment within educational institutions.

Creating a Safer Educational Landscape

The governor’s directive mandates universities to adopt a series of targeted measures aimed at fostering a secure environment for all members of their academic communities. Highlighting the paramount importance of shielding individuals from sexual harassment, Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman unequivocally stated that any form of such misconduct would not condoned.

Empowering Prevention and Resolution

The outlined measures encompass a range of pivotal actions. One significant aspect involves the establishment of specialized Inquiry Committees tasked with rigorously investigating reported cases. Equally important has the stipulation that the resolution process must expedited, ensuring a conclusive outcome within a timeframe of 45 days. To facilitate a secure channel of communication, a senior female faculty member designated as a focal person, operating independently from the university’s management hierarchy. This focal person will play a pivotal role in receiving and addressing reports while upholding the principles of confidentiality and privacy.

Incorporating Comprehensive Guidelines

The directive underscores the integration of the outlined policy within the universities’ code of conduct. This policy also translated into local languages to ensure comprehensibility and accessibility. Furthermore, the educational institutions directed to heighten awareness about the policy through multiple channels. This bolstered by the implementation of a well-defined ‘Code of Conduct,’ explicitly delineating unacceptable behaviors and their corresponding consequences.

Promoting Awareness and Accountability

Universities strongly encouraged to establish a transparent and easily accessible ‘Complaint Mechanism.’ Simultaneously, educational campaigns launched to educate students and staff about identifying, preventing, and responding to instances of sexual harassment. To sustain the efficacy of these efforts, a robust system for monitoring and evaluation introduced, ensuring continuous enhancement of the response mechanism’s efficiency.

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