Workplace harassment is a very real problem especially for women who work in jobs that require inter-city travel or have odd work hours.
A few weeks ago, Mehwish, a bus hostess was shot dead by a security guard because she refused to marry him. It brought to light the extent of harassment that women, especially bus hostesses, suffer daily. Since they are either too poor, or the sole breadwinners of their families, they rarely complain.
A few days ago Faizan Malik, a medical student, was traveling from Lahore to Jhang with his brother through Skyways Daewoo when he saw an incident that shook him
He noticed that the bus hostess was visibly disturbed because a man filmed her and also tried to touch her inappropriately while she was serving. Since Faizan was seated on the front seats of the bus, he heard the bus hostess complain to the driver about that man. When the harasser was called to the front of the bus, he brought his friend along and tried to intimidate her. That is when Faizan decided to film the entire situation, him and his brother even stood up for the woman.
Check out Faizan’s post below:
Yesterday, I was travelling back home. While the bus hostess was serving passengers, a passenger at the backend( shown…
The video that Faizan put up of the incident has been viewed over 300,000 times at the time of publication and people were, rightfully, outraged at the incident
Everyone appreciated Faizan for standing up for the woman
We reached out to Faizan to find out if any action was taken against the men
However, Faizan said that when the bus reached its destination, the man was allowed to leave without being asked any questions. As for the bus hostess, she asked Faizan to delete the video if her face was being shown since she wanted to avoid any sort of trouble.
Faizan told MangoBaaz that he has been trying to reach out to the relevant authorities, but to no avail
It is very important to note that there are no workplace harassment policies in place for women who work as bus hostess. Even if these policies exist, there are no checks and balances that are in place to ensure that the women are protected, safe, and free to do their jobs in peace. If women do complain about harassment, they are told to stay quiet if they want to keep their jobs or that the harassment is a prerequisite to their job and they should learn to deal with this.
Women are not commodities that exist for the entertainment of men. It is time we realize that the work women do is as, if not more, important than men and they should be allowed to do that in peace. Women have as much of a right as men to earn an honest living.
As a society, lets stand up for the next woman we see being harassed like Faizan and his brother did. Maybe if enough people started calling out harassers, they would think twice before deciding to harass someone else.