The realities of sexual harassments at workplace

Editor: Arnold Mutamiri

There is a growing harsh reality of sexual harassments at most workplaces around the world. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but also a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world, a statement by United Nations. For far too, long and even today, women are being harassed at work in different forms. Discrimination and sexual harassment are common world over and this is where violence is molded. 

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This is not something new, it has been talked about over decades but the solution is slowly coming out. There is no greater change in Asia and Africa concerning the change and realities on women lives. Change the message and the strategy and see how it goes.

Women are rapped at work and barbaric men are going unpunished and continue with their dirty works around the streets and at workplace. Women should know that they have their rights and should speak out with bold voices.

Who is going to protect the women when the ones supposed to protect them is the perpetrator? It is high time women should organise their women workers union at workplaces and come up with one voice to defend their rights.

Hotspots for sexual harassment are bars and lodges, secretaries, tour guides in the hospitality sector, security guards and other influential positions at work. Women and young women in all their diversity have experienced violations of their rights. At work, there is inability to negotiate safe sex, including condom use.

The majority of the victims are a threat to men at work as they have the potential of rising to powerful positions. It is hard to share sexual harassment experiences at work with other women as a woman. Taking away the pride and share with others is helpful because one can get a working solution.

The fear that one can lose a job is killing women and they are easily giving in and sexually exploited at work. If one denies once or twice, men will start giving value and respect to the proposed victim. Migrant women are also at the risk of sexual harassment.

There are jobs like cross boarder trading which are associated with many young women in Africa. Crossing from one country to the other is not easy. Before migrating, one should take time to know the security services in the country wishing to travel as well as the culture and prevailing situations before being a victim. 

Sex trafficking is on the rise and young women are the target. It so painful because when the young women are abused it means their future will be crumbling.  But once they get protected then the foundations of sustainable, productive, innocuous and secure world will be established.

Women have a role to play in the industry and their contributions are needed for every country to succeed. Finding new ways to work together, building mutual respect should be the focus on women at work. Women should meet enforcers at least twice a year and air their concerns before the damages go beyond. Work agents should take time to educate women before they get them jobs of their choices.

There are women living with special conditions like HIV and AIDS, such women need special care at work and it is their right to work for their families and life. Now if they are harassed sexually, it means their emotions are harassed too living them in bad health conditions. Some women are into drugs and substance abuse for them to clear the mind of loneliness and some are psychologically damaged through sexual harassment. A better world deserves good and productive women.

Written By: David Nhau


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