KARACHI: Aurat Foundation strongly condemns the derogatory remarks being made by a certain section of politicians, mass media as well as social media users against Ayesha Gulalai, a public representative and parliamentarian of the country.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the activists through the platform of Aurat Foundation said reactions from cited quarters to Gulalai’s complaints were inimical to good political behaviour and against every code of ethics.
The issue, they said is extremely serious and must no more be scandalised and sensationalised for the purpose of political expediency or promotion of vested interests.
Taking exception to the response of certain women parliamentarians, the activists said this was not only damaging to women in general but also for all other women having a public presence.
It should be noted that there is a very solid reason why in most countries of the world, sexual harassment is not a time barred offence, they said, mentioning that victims experience various stages of psychological distress and more often than do not report such incidents immediately.
They mentioned that a woman having the courage to speak up against any maltreatment or alleged act of ‘harassment’ by her colleagues is fully protected by the laws of the land.
It is the right of the victims to raise her voice under specific provisions in the penal code related to sexual harassment in both private and public spheres, said the Aurat Foundation members.
Appreciating establishment of an inquiry committee by the Speaker of the National Assembly to look into the matter, the activists said media personnel and politicians need to act responsibly.
They emphasised that the political blame-game and point-scoring on the basis and in the name of gender is extremely condemnable and intolerable.
The Aurat Foundation, therefore, pledges for a proper, robust parliamentary committee to decide about the incident on the merits and facts of the case, they said, urging media and politicians to use their position and power responsibly.