CERB organizes workshop on Anti-Harassment in the Workplace

CERB collaborated with Habib Bank Limited to develop a workshop on #antiharassment in the workplace, under our SDG Leadership Programme. The workshop was led by Maliha Husain from Mehergarh, a Human Rights Education Centre of which she is Executive Director, holding 20+ years of experience in the field. The event took place on 16th and 17th November, 2021.

The two-day workshop was an important exploration from the basics of understanding gender and the misconceptions surrounding sexual harassment, to exploring the journey of anti-harassment legislation on the federal level in Pakistan, and a comprehensive understanding of the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010.

We defined the victims protected under this act, including cis women, cis men, and the transgender community, and the various ways in which inappropriate advances, words, and attitudes threaten the safety and well-being of Pakistan’s diverse workforce. We rejected some of the myths about sexual harassment, such that false cases are common, men can never be the victims, or women are asking for it. We clarified the roles and responsibilities of the Management, Standing Inquiry Committees, Ombudsperson and, most importantly, Employees themselves.

And Ms. Husain helped answer questions related to the specific experiences of our participants, leveraging her decades of experience in anti-harassment legislation and education. We empowered our community of professionals to foster open, authentic, transparent, and safe work environments to respect the contribution and dignity of all working people from every community.

Jamal Nasir, Chief HR Office at HBL, presented his organization’s leadership in strong anti-harassment policies to foster a secure and diverse community. They have a zero-tolerance approach to workplace harassment, and comprehensive policies and procedures, which establish dedicated channels for complaints, representative inquiry committees, whistleblower channels, and more.

This falls under HBL’s greater Gender Diversity Policy, that has led to programs for financial inclusion such as HBL Nisa, female representation on their board and all levels of management, and active recruitment of female talent. With constant training and engagement on gender diversity, falling in line with the workshop’s theme, HBL aligns itself with Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Then Mr. Nasir joined Ms. Husain, and three other private sector leaders to share their experiences and insights from implementing the Act 2010 on workplace harassment:

They described their motivations, challenges and learnings at different stages of implementing and executing the legislation, helping our esteemed participants access on-the-ground knowledge, and understanding the effectiveness of this legislation when workplace security and dignity are core values of an organization.

CERB is proud and grateful for the instruction and guidance delivered in this workshop in collaboration with human rights champions and progressive management.

Would you be interested in this workshop? Please contact our Programme Manager for Diversity & Inclusion, Rajaa Bokhari, and let us know of your interest through this form.