Harassment doesn’t stop us

Published: February 20, 2012
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A recent news story published in The Express Tribune reported a female traffic warden in Lahore who had to get transferred from road duty after she was groped by a man on a motorbike. She said:

 “I cried at the CTO’s office and he ordered me transferred to the Ticketing Branch. The same thing happened to several other wardens.”

The idea of including female traffic wardens in to the field was to make society a safer place for women. Officers thought that once the commuters saw a lady in charge, they would behave themselves. Unfortunately, that was not the case. It is a sad fact that women  are choosing to stay away from the jobs they want to pursue due to similar incidents of harassment.

Discrimination and harassment are not new for the working woman in Pakistan. Be it a traffic police warden or a doctor, life is not easy for women once they step out of the four walls of their homes – which, many in our society believe is their rightful place in the first place.

The video also talks about a variety of problems and challenges that working women have to face in our country. Not only do they face discrimination at work, where men are often given preferential treatment, but they also have to deal with the pressure of single-handedly managing both professional and domestic life.

Once outside the house, women are not treated with the respect that they deserve. They can tell for sure if a public place will be safe for them or not.

“While we wait at the bus stop, men throw their numbers at us and try to take our pictures from their cell phones,” tell two medical students who normally travel by public transport.

Is a ‘woman’s place’ truly at home?

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The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.