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Bringing Sexual Harrasement in the open.

Ever found yourself in a situation where you know something is your right or your trying to serve the greater good and you know you are capable but, since you need the society leadership to work with you, along the way you find this one influencial male individual who think he has got power to make or break your efforts because of the position he holds asking you for sex favour to make your effort a success or otherwise they will be no assistance from him or his office? Or how do you feel when one favours you not because of what you say or abilities you posses but merely because of how you look, behind their help they have a sexual motive to get you?

In such a situation what does one do?

I happened to go through the same experience in running more than two of main project that aimed at empowering and informing the youth in my country and were already guaranteed external support all we had to do was to establish a base back at home, and me and these other two ladies happen to lead the projects. But our projects ended up stranded because of this one leader who cared less of our effort and all the time we were approaching him he will shift the focus to be very personal and ignored what we tabled and rather looked at us like objects to be used...quite a disgusting site!

What we didnt know , is this was happening to all three of us untill we shared one day.Thank God all of us know better than that, we know the value found in a woman; a confident and a strong woman that is. But till today the projects are stranded and the opportunity for the Young people in my society to get opportunity to learn is almost wasted because of this one individual who is selfish and cares for nothing but his own personal needs.

Lucky for us, this leader is no longer in the leadership due to ongoing change of leadership in my country because of on going election and he did not pass intial stages, so we are all praying that the next one will be more focused and morally upright so as we kick start our project.

My question is, in such scenario where my right is literary enfringed and I dont have enough evidence to sue anyone because the way he plays his game is so sleek to the extent he leaves no marks for evidence, what does a woman do?

Comments

Lombe's picture

An Approach to Harrasment Against Women

This is one of the major challenges that are encountered frequently in many spheres of society- including in sport where i work.

Facilitated by the apparent power differences between coaches, referees, managers and players and also the gender based superiority of men over women harassment is rife but unspoken about.

One of our major campaigns has been to draw attention to the prevalence of gender based violence with a focus on violence against women in sport, through awareness meetings, youth forums, media discussions and publications.

We have recently partnered with Women Win in Netherlands and NIF in Norway to develop a Code of Conduct for the Sport Sector on Violence against women in sport.

The purpose is to facilitate capacity development of sport institutions to deal with the occurrences of VAW and to prevent occurrences.

In relation to your question my sister- the law at times relies on facts and evidence, but the Code of Conduct approach relies on normalizing positive behavior- such as respect for women's dignity and integrity in ones position of authority.

If we can move all players in corporate, civil society or state institutions to adhere to a code, and establish internal systems for redress [which do not function like courts] we can have a better chance of resolving situations like yours.

For the moment it may be start fro you to write that person a letter expressing your views of their actions and letting them know they should not do what they did again.

Lombe Mwambwa
"I think a woman has two choices: either she's a feminist or a masochist." Gloria Steinem

abella's picture

Quite an enlightment!

Hi Gloria,

You guys have done much in this area, you know its true much as i am a lawyer but at time the complications in legal sytem leads to a total deny of justice.

I like the idea of Code of Conduct, imagine if we could have it a country level?!!This will hold individuals accountable even if one does not belong to a certain organisation or group, meaning even a single individual voice will be valued.

I will honestly tell you, though its sad, but writing such a letter could bring me problems you will never imagine, mind you this guy was not straight forward all he did was to imply but offer us no help whatsoever concering the projects we tabled to his office, he could easily say its all in your mind (though three of us can not experience the same thing and still be imagining).

You know,thinking of it , i am just realising I leave in a quite undemocratic environment, i cant imagine i am contemplating on writting a letter that speak for me, so help us God!

I am because we are :-)

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