HARIPUR, June 16: Speakers at a workshop on Thursday emphasized that protection of women’s basic rights, bringing an end to sexual harassment and ensuring them equal treatment and a congenial atmosphere at work places could guarantee their maximum participation in economic activities. Women should not tolerate ill-treatment and must confront the perpetrators boldly, speakers said at the day-long workshop organized by the directorate of workers education (DWE) on ‘Gender sensitization of industrial workers.’

Factory workers of the Hattar industrial estate and some industrialists attended the function.

DWE assistant director Ashiq Hussain said that sexually-oriented practices by male colleagues often resulted in negative impact on the health, personality, job performance and potential of the persons involved.

Such attitude, he said, discouraged their participation in productivity. He observed that harassment might be one of the reasons that had impeded the progress of women in the country.

He asked male workers to behave with their female colleagues in a way that they felt secure and motivated towards the services they were rendering.

“Women should not keep silent. They should lodge complaint against any such incident and make the negative attitude of their male colleagues known to rest of workers,” he stressed.

A religious scholar, Prof Arshad Qayum compared the status of woman in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. He said Islam gave more respect and equal rights to women than any other religion.

Iffat Jamil of the Barani area project said woman was not inferior in status and in terms of intelligence to man. Therefore, she maintained, women should be treated equally with men. She said women should be encouraged to take part in national life in accordance with her wishes.

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