Not forming body to prevent sexual harassment disappointing: HC
The High Court today expressed dissatisfaction as committee for preventing sexual harassment was not formed at all educational institutions and workplaces across the country in line with its 2009 directives.
Bangladesh is much ahead than many other countries in empowering women but its negligence in forming the committee to prevent sexual harassment at educational institutions and workplaces is disappointing, the HC said.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader came up a with the observation during hearing a writ petition filed to this effect.
Six rights organizations including Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) submitted the petition to the HC seeking its directive on the government to submit a report on whether committee for preventing the sexual harassment was not formed at all educational institutions and workplaces across the country in line with its 2009 directives.
In the petition, the rights organisations prayed to the HC to order the authorities to submit a list of the committees if they are formed for preventing the such harassment to the court through the registrar general of the Supreme Court.
After concluding the proceedings, the HC bench adjourned hearing of the writ petition for one week.
Advocate Fawzia Karim Feroze appeared for the writ petitioners, while Deputy Attorney General ABM Abdullah-Al-Mahmud Bashar opposed the petition.
Following another writ petition, the HC on May 14, 2019 issued a set of guidelines defining sexual misdemeanours to prevent any kind of physical, mental or sexual harassment of women, girls and children at their workplaces, educational institutions and other public places including roads across the country.
The HC directed the government to make a law on the basis of the guidelines, and ruled that the guidelines will be treated as a law until the law is incorporated.
The court directed the authorities concerned to form a five-member harassment complaint committee headed by a woman at every workplace and institution to investigate allegations of harassment of women.
Majority of the committee members must be women, it ruled.