PUTRAJAYA – The government is to consider amending the standard operating procedure (SOP) or laws concerning the safety of women at the workplace to prevent them from being harmed.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the assault of a female civil servant last Friday should be viewed seriously as it could jeopardise the government’s objective of having women form 55 per cent of the workforce.
“To me, this is a wake-up call because I feel many, especially the dedicated workers, will be traumatised and afraid to work overtime when we need to move towards becoming a developed nation.
“So, we will discuss with all parties, including the Public Service Department, as improvement to the present SOP would involve all ministries and government agencies,” she said.
She spoke to reporters at the Putrajaya Hospital after visiting the staff of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia who was injured after she was attacked by a technician while working overtime.
The attack on the 30-year-old woman got the attention of various parties after a photograph of her covered in blood and asking for help was circulated on the Internet.
Rohani said the civil servant was still in a state of trauma and her ministry was prepared to provide counselling, if necessary.
“At present, a counsellor who is the victim’s friend is constantly with her, besides her close family members,” she said.
Rohani also urged that stern action be taken against the attacker in terms of the law so that such an incident did not happen again.
Among the laws which provided for such punishment were the Domestic Violence Act 1994; Section 14(3) of the Employment Act 1955 pertaining to sexual harassment in the workplace and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw), she said. – BERNAMA