Sxual harassment in Zimbabwe’s workplaces is said to be rampant, with studies by different research organisations showing that while some individuals have suffered different forms of se_xual harassment at work, very little training is done to educate workers about it.

A recent report by the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) revealed that a survey on workplace se_xual harassment by the Industrial Psychology Consultants showed that a very huge number of people were se_xually harassed at work.

Of the sampled population (which was not named in the survey), it was found that 14% of the participants indicated they had been se_xually harassed at work.

“Forty eight percent (48%) of the respondents had witnessed a colleague being se_xually harassed at their workplace, twenty-six percent (26%) of the respondents were not aware of the ways to address se_xual harassment at their workforces, while forty-three percent (43%) of the survey participants stated that they are not aware if the participants that were sexually harassed at work were females or male,” the RAU report said.

“Sixty-two percent (62%) of the participants, who were managerial employees, said the definition of se_xual harassment is confusing and unclear, and are also not sure of the boundaries between se_xual harassment and harmless flirting.”

The think-tank said 86% of the respondents had never received any training on se_xual harassment.

Another survey on se_xual harassment at work was done by Her Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Zimbabwe Banks & Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) reported that in their campaign against se_xual harassment, they realised that many employees were victims.

“Startling also was their admittance that they did not know what se_xual harassment was and their rights. They also could not report the cases to anyone,” RAU said.

This particular research was said to have sampled 132 employees, of which 61% of the participants were female.

“Thirty-one percent (31%) of the women indicated that they had been victims of se_xual harassment or had witnessed se_xual harassment in the workplace. Out of the individuals who indicated that they had been victims of se_xual harassment, only thirty-four percent (34%) had reported these cases,” the advocate unit said.

The report said the problem of se_xual harassment stemmed from the fact that historically, the country is a patriarchal society and women are often raised to be submissive to men, even in cases where they are

The think-tank recommended that there is need for adequate laws on se_xual harassment to be crafted and enforced, adding that they should be punitive to discourage the practice.

They said companies must also craft policies dealing with se_xual harassment and investigate all complaints.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.