Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development has broken the silence on sexual harassment in the workplace ahead of the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence running from the 25th of November to the 10th of December 2018.
Addressing the media today in Harare, Women Affairs Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni said for a long time the subject of sexual harassment has not been a subject of discussion and the practice has in most instances normalized.
“For far too long, sexual harassment 8in the workplace has not been subject of much discussion. The practice has largely been tolerated, condoned and in most instances normalized through societal and cultural beliefs that condone the culture of violence.
“These beliefs are then translated into organizational cultures that do not uphold mutual respect, thereby fueling sexual harassment in the workplace adversely affecting productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of the victims of this malpractice.
“The consequences of sexual harassment are devastating, leaving physical and emotional scars on the victim,” she said.
In addition, Nyoni said sexual harassment robs the victim of their self-confidence and affects their participation in the labor market.
“Sexual harassment is usually driven by dynamics of unequal power relations and negative gender social norms operating in societies then trickling into the world of work fuelling gender based discrimination.
“It is however heartbreaking to note that a majority of these cases go unreported and this year we are declaring that lets break the silence and talk about sexual harassment in the workplace.
“It is saddening that the bulk of the victims of sexual harassment are women and the girl child who traditionally have been marginalized,” she said.
This year’s commemorations will be running under the theme ‘Creating Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ and will held in Mutare Meikles Park on the 7th of December 2018.