PESHAWAR: The provincial ombudsperson secretariat for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace has set up a pro bono lawyers’ desk for providing free legal aid to complainants and other individuals.

The desk includes three women lawyers, who provide required information to the complainants regarding Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2010 and Women’s Property Rights Act, 2019.

In addition, the desk also gives information regarding relevant laws, court system and its procedures.

According to a press release, the pro bono lawyers have now been facilitating complainants in filing cases with the ombudsperson, providing comprehensive information to the complainants/respondents in developing and assembling documentations for filing the cases; and assisting those, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access legal expertise.

Moreover, they cooperate with other staff members for capacity building trainings and awareness sessions on the role of ombudsperson office to combat harassment at workplace.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ombudsperson Secretariat for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace was established in 2019 under the 2010 Act in the province.

Its mandate is not only to implement the law but also to raise awareness and give legal support to visitors.

Similarly, under KP Women Ownership Rights Act, 2019 powers have been assigned to the office of ombudsperson and its jurisdiction has been extended across the province including tribal districts.

The ombudsperson has also been given powers to enforce its decision under this law through the state machinery and all the authorities are bound to obey its orders.

Under section 7 of the Act, where proceedings in a court of law are pending in relation to the ownership or possession of any property claimed to be owned by a woman, she may file a complaint to the ombudsperson.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2021

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