I assumed charge as the fourth Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment on 1st March, 2023. In this role, I will draw on over two decades of experience in the field of human rights and women empowerment that was focused particularly on evidence-based decision-making. In my term in office, I hope to build on the work of my predecessors towards creating a safe and conducive working environment for women, men and transgenders and towards enhancing women's financial standing by securing them their due shares in movable and immovable assets.
FOSPAH is an independent body created under the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2010 that is committed to the principles of non-discrimination, dignity and respect for all and advocates for a Pakistan that is gender equal. FOSPAH strives to achieve these noble ideals through raising awareness about women's rights and by expeditiously adjudicating complaints of harassment and property deprivation at no cost. To achieve its objectives, FOSPAH needs a strong institutional framework with a competent team and efficient legal and administrative systems. My goal is to strengthen our legal and administrative human resource capacity and systems as a priority. Simultaneously, I plan to improve the quality of FOSPAH’s case handling and decisions. We have begun research on and enunciation of the scope of our amended law (2022) on harassment and on the recently enacted law on property rights for women. An important aspect of prevention is awareness of the law and redressal mechanisms. FOSPAH has developed and begun the implementation of a systematic outreach strategy to apprise people of their rights under the Acts on harassment and property rights.
Through consistent engagement with the Government, private bodies and the public FOSPAH will endeavour to eliminate harassment at the workplace and to promote women’s economic empowerment across Pakistan. Through these coordinated efforts FOSPAH will help build a society where women and other marginalised communities can thrive and reach their true potential.
I hope to count on your support towards attaining FOSPAH’s goals.
Ms. Fauzia Viqar
for Protection Against Harassment
of Women at the Workplace