Dawn News

LAHORE, Dec 26: When a woman suffers harassment by her co-workers at the workplace, it is just like working with sharks. And when surrounded by such wild harassers, the woman must speak out.

This is what 'Working with Sharks: Countering Sexual Harassment in the Workplace', a book by Dr Fauzia Saeed is about.

The book was launched in Lahore on Monday. Dr Saeed is the director of Mehergarh, a human rights institute.

The book published by Sanjh Publications is about sexual harassment and an autobiography of the author as a working woman.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Saeed said the book had her own story that how she with 10 other women filed a harassment case against their male colleague when she was working for the UN. She said the harassment was not as bad as the retaliation from the management upon filing the case. The book is being translated into Urdu by Fehmida Riaz.

The case sparked a national movement that culminated into the passage of legislation by Parliament in 2010 making sexual harassment a crime. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani declared Dec 22, the date when the original complaint of the case was launched, as National Day for Working Women.

Beaconhouse National University School of Visual Arts Dean Salima Hashmi declared the book a brave initiative, saying that writing down such a book took a lot of courage. She recommend that every young woman and man should read the book if they wanted to learn about the workplace dynamics.

A private channel's official, Abdur Rauf, said the experiences of sexual harassment by the author seemed to have a great commonality with those women who also suffer harassment on their workplaces.

Writer and director Sarmad Khusat appreciated the art of story-telling in the book. Academician Tariq Rehman said the book was a powerful expression of a woman on sexual harassment not only in the Pakistan but also in the international context.


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