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Equal employment opportunities in

pakistan
Employment Opportunity (EEO) entails discrimination and makes sure that work places
are free from any kind of unlawful harassment and hence assists EEO groups to
overcome any mishap or past or present disadvantage. In such an workplace all
employees are valued and respected regardless of any caste,creed,color,race or an
affiliation with any group or any physical disability.
EEO anti-discrimination protections apply to all of the terms and conditions of
employment, including, but not limited to recruitment and selection, promotions, testing,
training and development opportunities, hiring, transfers, work assignments, discipline,
compensation, discharge, performance evaluation, working environment and other
conditions of service. Affirmative action (AA) is an effort to
Remove the unfair practices of the past in the organizations. AA is a means to make
equal grounds for females, individuals with disabilities, underprivileged classes and
minorities as a logical step towards equal employment.
According to Pakistan`s law it is however mandatory to follow the (EEO) principals.
Affirmative Action, however, is expected to be implemented as a voluntary component of
EEO Policy. EEO does not, in any circumstance, mean that the managers should hire
unqualified candidates in breach of merit. This is only a mechanism to avoid unfair
practices and biases during employment process.
EEO Model For Pakistan:
There is no real effort on the national scale to introduce equal employment practices.
Government and corporate sector do not have a model for EEO, and do not appreciate
its rationale. A majority of employers in Pakistan take equal employment and affirmative
action (AA) as a western idea not applicable to Pakistani society. Popular opinion is to
think of EEO and AA as an additional expenditure that does not contribute to
organizational productivity and competitiveness. With short-term monetary targets as
the top most priority, a typical Pakistani employer fails to understand that EEO will
contribute to cost effective decision-making and efficient management. In the absence
of a viable model for EEO, equal employment for Pakistani organizations cannot be
achieved.

It would be irrelevant to impose a western concept of EEO that does not targets or
adjusts Pakistani culture and value system. An article shows that two factors are
important for Pakistan`s EEO system.

Identification of specific characteristics of Pakistan`s society


Analysis of a survey about discrimination in Pakistan`s society

ACCORDING TO THE PAKISTAN`S LAW


Pakistan constitution puts a ban on discrimination on the basis of sex in appointment in
"the service in Pakistan", provided that the performance and functions of the job can be
carried out by, and is deemed suitable for, both sexes (Art. 27). It also provides that
"steps shall be taken to ensure full participation of women in all spheres of national life"
(Art. 34). The constitution commits the State to secure the well-being of the people,
irrespective of, inter-alia, their sex by (Art. 38 (a)) raising their standard of living, by
preventing the concentration of wealth and means of production and
distribution in the hands of a few for general interest and by ensuring equitable
adjustment of rights between employers and employees, and landlords and tenants.
Pakistan is a signatory of the following international instruments:
The federal government announced its Labour Welfare Package for Workers making it
mandatory for the organizations to offer gender equality and affirmative action. In
summary, it warrants:

*Equal remuneration for men and women for work of equal value through
appropriate legislation.
*Enhancement of maternity benefits for female mine workers.
*Safeguards against sexual harassment through appropriate actions.
*Recruitment of female labour inspectors for enforcement of labor laws on
female workers.
*Increase in percentage of reserved seats of workers and peasants at
Union Councils, Tehsil Councils and District Councils in the Devolution of
Power Plan.
*Extension of coverage of laws to agriculture and other informal sectors of
economy.
The Federal Government introduced new labour policy in 2002 empowering
labour courts to order re-instatement of illegally dismissed workers or
award reasonable compensation in lieu of re-instatement. This policy also
calls for extension and up gradation of vocational and industrial training
programs to meet the changes of globalization and avoidance of
redundancies. If implemented in true spirit, this is expected to be a right
step towards affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. A
significant characteristic of new labour policy is strengthening bilateralism
with least legislative and state intervention. This is expected to result in
good employer-employee relationship through the strategy of
interdependence by employers and employees and their mutual trust. New
laws also promise protection of contractual labour by redefining temporary
jobs in accordance with international standards. The policy pledges equal
opportunities for all and categorically bans child and bonded labour, and
discrimination on the basis of gender, sex, race etc.

There are other recent steps taken by the Pakistan Government that have
improved the recruitment environment in Pakistan, like: National Policy and
Plan of Action for Elimination of Child Labour (2000); National Policy and
Plan of Action for the Abolition of Bonded Labour (2001); and endorsement
of ILO Conventions 100 and 182. Federal and provincial governments have
also made legislations about the provision of 2% quota for special
(disabled) people in the employment in all departments. This was enacted
by the Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) ORDINANCE
(1981).
LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK REGARDING EEO IN PAKISTAN
The main law governing OHS is the Factories Act 1934 Chapter 3. The Hazardous
Occupation Rules of 1978 regulate certain occupations as hazardous, and contain
special provisions to regulate the working conditions in those occupations. Each
province has also enacted its own Rules within the mandate of the Factories Act.
In addition there are other laws dealing with OHS:
The Mines Act 1923
Social Security Ordinance 1965
Workmens Compensation Act 1923
Shop and Establishment Ordinance 1969
Dock Labourer Act 1934
The health and safety measures prescribed in most of the above laws have not kept
pace with the rapidly changing times. Many of the sectors with grave OHS hazards (and
most workers anyway) are not covered by these laws. They contain very few technical
standards. Furthermore the occupational exposure limits (OELs) now common all over
the world are still missing from Pakistans laws. These laws must be thoroughly revised
and updated.
Although there are many laws regarding the health and safety in Pakistan but the main
problem has been implementation of these laws . proper implementation of these laws
still lack in almost all the organisations of Pakistan which makes these frameworks
rather useless .
WORK PLACE VIOLENCE IN PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD, August 24, 2009 (Baluchistan Times): The prompt and effective legislation
over the Protection against Harassment at the Workplace Bill 2009 would ensure a
better environment to women at their specific workplace. The legal experts and rights
activists of the Capital were of the view that prior to it, there were no specific laws
dealing with workplace harassment. They said before the launching of the Bill, women
had no legal source to justice against their colleagues, supervisors or employers who
while taking advantage of their weaker partners for their ineterst. It is generally
observed that women all over the world, and in our own country are subjected to varying
degrees of discrimination, exploitation and violence. Harassment at workplace is a very
serious issue as it has been related to the right of women to live with honour. To protect
women against harassment at workplace, the government had taken special
measures by starting formulation of the bill which had been laid in the House on April
10, 2009. Mrs Sanam Advocate, a well known face in city courts, commented that there
was need for an exclusive act to handle the growing issue after the ratio of working
women had kept on increasing. She said, Its implementation will take time because
women are shy of raising their voices against unwanted things. She also stressed for
creating more awareness about female rights besides, swift legislation over the issue.
Shaheena Iqbal Advocate also shared the same view and said that women at their
workplace required better environment without compromising over their dignity. Misbah
Kanwal, a social and rights activist of a non-governmental organization, replied that
females were generally deprived of their rights and an effective legal mechanism
leading to punishment was expected with the upcoming Act. Kowkab Iqbal advocate,
Chairman Pakistan Human Rights Society, opined that various provisions
of Constitution of Pakistan guaranteed protection to women rights. He said, quick
legislation and sound litigation would yield desired results. Minister for Social Welfare
and Special Education, Samina Khalid Ghurki had also commented that the
Harassment Bill would support women at federal, provincial and district levels covering
maximum ground to address the issue comprehensively. According to available details,
the code of conduct and procedure had also been included in the bill which includes
guidelines for behaviour of the employess, management included which would ensure
that there is no harassment at the work place. On June 27, the National Assembly
Standing Committee on Women Development had reviewed the report and
recommendations of the sub-committee on the bill and referred it back for further
discussion with the concerned ministers to remove gaps and contradictions. In another
development, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice had
amended a bill over Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) Section 509 to effectively tackle and
discourage all kinds of unwanted advances at work places. It had discussed the section
509 PPC and added the new clause 509-A., which said Whoever makes sexual
advances or demands sexual favour or uses written or verbal or physical conduct of a
sexual nature which intends to annoy, intimidate or threaten the other person or

commits such acts at the premises of work place, or makes submission to such conduct
shall be punished for three years .
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

i
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects workers over age
40 from discrimination based on their age. The ADEA is administered by the
Department of Labour's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and
applies to companies with at least 20 employees and covers both private and public
employers.
The ADEA also protects employees from retaliation for asserting a claim of age
discrimination or participating in a discrimination action or investigation. However, the
ADEA applies only to employers with at least 20 employees. If the ADEA applies to your
employer, age discrimination is also prohibited in any apprentice programs unless the
employer has a waiver from the EEOC. The EEOC waiver is called a bona-fide
occupational qualification or BFOQ. That having been said, it is not specifically illegal for
an employer to ask for a job applicant's date of birth.

AGE DISCRIMINATION ACT 2004 - SECT 4


Simplified outline
The following is a simplified outline of this act :
This Act makes it unlawful to discriminate on the ground of age.
This Act has effect subject to certain geographical and constitutional
limitations
Discrimination on the ground of age can be direct or indirect .
It is unlawful to discriminate on the ground of age in relation to work and
certain other areas It is not unlawful to discriminate on the ground of age if
a particular exemption is applicable (see Divisions 4 and 5 of Part 4).
It is an offence to do certain things related to age discrimination.
Complaints can be made to the Commission about unlawful discrimination.
Functions are given to the Commission .
Provision is made for miscellaneous matters such as delegation, protection
from civil actions etc
sexual harassment law in Pakistan :
The first step has been taken towards changing the lives of women at the workplace, to
quote Sherry rehman, the PPP MNA, former minister for womens development and
architect of the newly enacted law under discussion. This is in the form of the Criminal
Law (Amendment) Bill that was passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday after
having been in the works for months. Meticulously drafted, the document enhances the
punishment already prescribed under the law for sexual harassment and facilitates
effective prosecution by defining harassment unequivocally.
These amendments to the PPC and CCP are designed to address the age-old issue
women have faced in patriarchal societies intimidation in public places that inhibits
them from stepping out of their homes. The political will displayed by the present
government to improve the status of women is encouraging. Towards the same end, a
bill on domestic violence was adopted by the assembly three months ago. Harassment
can be tricky to prove legally, especially in an environment that is not too friendly
towards women and where men have not been sensitised to issues concerning the
dignity of women. Small wonder the existing provisions of the PPC could never be

invoked because they were toothless. The effectiveness of the new laws will only be
tested when a case is brought before a court of law.
While we welcome the new legislation , to be followed by another bill focusing on sexual
harassment in the workplace . we should also point out that there is a long way yet to
go, as Ms Rehman cautioned. As the moving spirit behind this law, she understands
well the long struggle women in Pakistan have had to wage to win empowerment. The
main obstacle they have faced is the entrenched social prejudice that relegates women
to a subordinate status in public and family life. In the absence of general awareness of
womens rights and the ingrained perception of male superiority, legislation enacted to
protect women has not found practical implementation. Very often women themselves
are so conditioned that they fail to put up the fight needed to win their rights.
Under the new law, the onus of taking action will rest on women. Will they take the
initiative, especially when fears are already being expressed by some men that the law
will be misused to settle old scores? Hence the need of the hour is to educate and
conscientise women about their rights so that real and meaningful change is brought to
their lives. This calls for a holistic approach with a campaign on several fronts to change
existing mindsets.

Conclusion :
Thus major challenge of equal employment opportunity is not legislation but
implementation which requires a proper monitoring from the unions and the
governments itself.Government as well as organizations must initiate an EEO program
starting with the education of the policy makers, and the employees in general so that
they can understand the rationale of this program and wholeheartedly support it. This
will start with informatory session(s) for the employees about the objective and rationale
of the EEO program. They can also be apprised about the results of an initial EEO
assessment of the organisation. Not only initiating but firms and government will have to
take the responsibility to implement it and monitor it on regular basis to provide proper
rights to the employees and ensure equal opportunities