Panelists: Zehra Khan, Palvasha Shahab, Mariyah Arif and Hiba Abar

Date: 3rd February 2022

Where: Live on LUMS Facebook

Saida Waheed Gender Initiative (SWGI) in collaboration with the Office of Accessibility and Inclusion (OAI) at LUMS held this online session. It was moderated by Ms. Hiba Akbar with Zehra Khan, Palvasha Shahab and Mariyah Arif as guest speakers. Hiba Akbar and Palvasha Shahab initiated the discussion with a thorough analysis on the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Act, 2022. Mariyah Arif shed light on the discrimination faced by women employees, that may not always be sexual. The panelists discussed the abuse of power in the workplace, embedded within the larger social, economic, and political context. While abuse and harassment remain blatant crimes at the workplace, instances of hostility and undercurrents of (micro)aggression often get pushed aside as not significant. Besides gender, the contours of both obvious and subtle instances of harassment, their intensity and violence, are deeply affected by the class, ethnicity, and rank of the employee. The participants expanded upon the gendered realities of hostility at the workplace, and the factors that define and accentuate worker vulnerabilities. They concluded the conversation and highlighted that abuse and harassment at work can be overcome by four strategies: Implementation, monitoring, prevention and training.