Federal Ombudsperson Kashmala Tariq on Tuesday directed Utility Store Corporation (USC) to share appointment and service record of corporation former employee Maimoona Qaiyum Shaikh and said that its top priority of this secretariat to ‘grant justice to all aggrieved working women who have been harassed in any case.’ Kashmala took up the complaint filed by Maimoona with the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat for Protection Against Harassment (FOSPAH) against her alleged harassment by USC Chairman Zulqarnain Ali Khan. The complainant said that she had joined USC as consultant back in July 2019 for a period of three months against a salary of Rs 80,000 per month. Since then, the chairman started harassing her by and large, adding that when she refused to fulfill his ‘unethical demand’, he removed me from my job. During the course of hearing, a USC official defended that the termination was not made on causes being claimed by former employee. “She has been removed over continues absence from duty. “The USC called her explanation for absent from duty which she did not respond to,” he claimed, adding that later on the Corporation issued her show-cause notice and sacked her as per set procedure. On which, the complainant council Syed Pervaiz said that his client plea is not against the dismissal from job. “We approached this prestigious court to get justice over a harassment complaint so that the accused should be shown the door as it is a matter of dignity of all working women in the country,” he explained. After hearing the arguments from both parties, Ombudsperson Kashmala asked for summoning USC Director HR or other official concerned to appear with all relevant service records of Maimona on December 6. Ombudsperson objected that the purpose of seeking a record is to probe all other facts. “I am apprehending that some organized gangs are trapping women in the name of job or like that favors and then exploit them as per their own way due to this reason it is most integral to investigate all these interlinks chains in order to reach real facts,” she predicted. Hailing from Karachi, Maimoona Qaiyum came to Islamabad last year with ambitions of social emancipation to make her identity on her own and started a job at Utility Store Corporation (USC) but in the patriarchal milieu of the corporation she has been kicked out within a few months. After removal from USC she approached FOSPAH in December last year. However, she is still optimistic that she would get justice from the court of Kashmala. She says that Kashmala is reputed for women rights’ defender. “I am very sure that in my case she will grant justice,” she hoped. Besides other evidence, she also submitted some audio call recordings to Ombudsperson. Young Karachi native was finding her place of dignity and economic purpose. She says she wants to earn a name by sheer hard work and a mind that wants to be more than the social mores around her. Holding Strategic Planning and Management diploma from South Quay College of London, United Kingdom with ACCA Foundation examination, and Masters in Economics from University of Karachi, the young aspirant has different multinational companies work experience within the country and abroad. “God knows, I was never aware of whatever the heinous intentions of Zulqarnain had to me when he was giving me such an offer,” she shared with a woeful tone. “I was new in this city and even never knew that such harassment could be complained to Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against harassment,” she further told this scribe adding that after all I decided to approach Ombudsperson as to teach lesson to all such men who deemed working women as source of exploitation and their lust. She said that she is receiving threats directly and indirectly for dire consequences. While citing the example of recent alleged suspicious death of PRSC employee Kainat Tariq, Maimoona said “God forbid any such untoward incident occurs, the chairman would be solely liable for this.” Maimoona says a majority of women do not lodge a formal report against harassment either out of fear of retaliation as they have little confidence in the recourse system or due to the social stigma attached to it. “To break such silence the society also needed to support and strengthen its women so that they could raise their voice without any hesitation against this offensive male behavior,” she suggested when asked about social barriers against lodging complaints at a concern forum for women.