Islamabad [Pakistan], February 23 (ANI): Recent cases of sexual harassment and murder of medical students in Sindh province of Pakistan shed light on the threat faced by young women pursuing higher education in the country, local media reported.
These 'mysterious' cases also reflect how the supposed safe environment of schools, colleges and universities is marred by the 'narrow-minded sexual sensibilities', The Friday Times reported.
Institutions turning blind eye to horrific incidents of sexual offences against women as seen in the case of Parveen Rind, a nursing house officer at People's University of Medical and Health Sciences For Women (PUMHSW), is more disappointing.
Rind, who had accused three varsity officials of sexual harassment and physical torture against her, received an apathetic response from the authorities. However, it was only after an outcry from social media activists that Sindh authorities ordered a probe into her allegations, the publication reported.
In another incident, the University of Balochistan (UoB) attracted media attention in 2020 after allegations of sexual harassment faced by some students.
Sexual harassment was rampant on the UoB campus, especially for Hazara girls studying there, the media outlet reported, quoting an investigative report by Dwan.
According to the report, a few young women faced several displeasing and uncomfortable remarks from their professor while they were sitting in his office to discuss studies.
"You look red like a pomegranate. So let me order pomegranate juice for you," the Hazara student recalled the professor as saying, according to the report.
"He did that because he knew he could get away with it. He even kissed her in front of us," the report quoted the student as saying.
It is ironic that these universities establish anti-harassment cells comprising of individuals whose own knowledge of harassment watchdog is very limited and do not know how to investigate such matters. And thus, these cases are obscured into darkness until social media steps in.
The modus-operandi of educational institutions dealing with sexual harassment has been to hide the incidents to save their reputation, The Friday Times reported, adding it is because of their unprofessional handling of such crimes that assaulters and predators thrive. (ANI)