ISLAMABAD, Jan 15: AASHA launched a calendar here on Saturday to create awareness among the masses about various forms of harassment against women and to highlight typical characters responsible for restricting women's active contribution in socio-economic activities by intimidating and harassing them.Alliance Against Sexual Harassment (AASHA), a coalition of around a dozen civil society organisations working to promote women's rights, introduced the calendar carrying caricatures depicting the forms of harassments women were subjected to and these portrayals had been selected from a total of 36 entries through a voting process.
The first character is Tharki baba which symbolises men who like hugging and touching young girls under the garb of being their older uncle.
The sketch of a bald man wearing a suit depicts those who extend explicit invitations for intimate relationship to subordinate female staff members and threaten to punish those who turn their offers down.
Another cartoon shows a man with binocular fixed to his eyes to highlight the characters in habit of harassing women by staring at them. Such people are frequently found at bus stops, markets and public places.
Ustad lucha is the title of a cartoon that illustrates how wagon drivers and conductors of public transport touch women in a sleazy manner under the guise of changing gears, taking money or making room for other passengers.
Another cartoon is about the teachers who blackmail female students for sexual favours, intimidate female teachers, abuse their authority and thus bring bad name to a respectable profession.
An animal-faced man riding a bike depicts the typical characters who offer lift to women in the streets and intimidate women drivers.
Another cartoon is about the men who use mobile phones as their tool to harass women by sending anonymous text messages and vulgar poetry in the hope of making a connection.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, founding member of AASHA Dr Fouzia Saeed said: “The current government has shown commitment and support by passing legislation against sexual harassment making it a crime for the first time in the history of Pakistan.
This is a milestone in the social history of Pakistan that will not only legitimise access to the public and work spaces for women but will be a turning point in changing people's mindset about the relationship of men and women.”