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Sexually Exploited Pakistan Lady Health Workers Suffer in Silence

by VR Sreeraman on  April 4, 2009 at 3:50 PM Women Health News   - G J E 4
 Sexually Exploited Pakistan Lady Health Workers Suffer in Silence
The condition of women in Pakistan seems to be worsening by the day, with the latest being exploitation of Lady Health Supervisors (LHS) by their male colleagues who often use them to fulfill their shameless desires.
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Male colleagues have been accused of treating their female counterparts working under the National Programme for Family Planning and Primary Health Care and the Extensive Programme for Immunisation shabbily.

The extent of corruption in the system came to light when around 22 lady health workers and Lady Health Supervisors (LHS) came forward to say that New Karachi Town Health Officer (THO) Javed Iqbal lures many of them into his "be quiet or you will be fired" trap and has sexually harassed them.

The Daily Times quoted a lady health worker as saying that that she is a married woman and chose this profession only because she desperately needed to make ends meet.

She compared her job to a beggar with a somewhat higher purpose and adds sadly that the male residents of many houses are disrespectful and crude towards her. What saddens her more is that her ordeal does not end on the road, as THO Javed Iqbal and a male vaccinator, Abdul Aleem Khan, successfully reproduce the scenario at work.

She shamefully admits to being a victim of their lust many a times, adding that she was also forced to entertain a group of officers with the threat to subjugate or lose the job. She said that she refused to give in and escaped the consequences narrowly.

Another lady health worker revealed that Iqbal and Khan have on many occasions offered to buy a sexual relationship from her.

"THO Iqbal had offered to give me Rs 1,000 daily if I give in to his demands. I am a respectable married woman and I would prefer to sit at home rather than sell my honour," she said.

Another co-worked added that the THO and Khan have taken advantage of many lady health workers.

She further points that Khan has been threatening other vaccinators who have been let in on his dirty secrets to remain quite or to be exposed in public for crimes they have not even heard of.

Source: ANI
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