Pakistan’s Parliament Approves New Workplace Harassment Bill
A new bill that increases protections for women at work has passed Pakistan’s parliament. The bill expands on existing legislation from 2010, which had been criticized for being too narrow in scope. The new law, which was enacted earlier this month, specifically confers protection to students, domestic workers, and employees in informal workplaces. Women’s rights activists have welcomed the amended legislation for addressing multiple forms of harassment and for including language about protecting employees from retaliation. Some actvists have called on Pakistan to ratify the International Labor Organization’s Violence and Harassment Convention (No. 190) as a next step in eliminating gender-based harassment in the workplace.
Moroccan University Students Speak Out Against “Sex for Grades”
Female Moroccan university students have come forward on social media alleging that professors pressured them for sexual favors in exchange for high grades on school assignments. As a result of the allegations, Morrocan universities are facing an ongoing reckoning as women’s allegations have led to legal consequences for some professors. At the Hassan I University in Settat, five professors were charged with crimes relating to the sex-for-grades scandal. So far, one professor has been sentenced to two years in prison. Criminal proceedings concerning sex for grades were unheard of before enactment of a 2018 Moroccan law that established prison sentences for individuals found guilty of "harassment, assault, sexual exploitation, or abuse.”
French Senate Votes to Ban Wearing the Hijab During Sports Matches
French senators passed legislation last week that would ban women from wearing hijabs during athletic games. The legislation specifically bans “the wearing of the veil in sports competitions” and claims that wearing headscarves could potentially harm the safety of the athletes who wear them. The legislation passed 160 to 143. Many Muslim women have voiced their objections to the law, calling it cruel and exclusionary. Last year, the French Senate voted to ban minors from wearing hijabs in public, which sparked an outcry among Muslim girls, with many using the social media hashtag #PasToucheAMonHijab (#HandsOffMyHijab). France is set to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games; it is unclear how the legislation, if it becomes law, will affect the participation of hijab-wearing Muslim athletes from other countries.