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Monday 11 December 2017
Local

Chamber wants stronger sexual harassment laws

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce says it strongly condemns any behaviour or act of a sexual nature which might be deemed as sexual harassment, whether committed in the workplace, school, home, any institution or space.

In a statement yesterday, the Chamber said within recent times the offensive issue of sexual harassment has been occupying media headlines globally and locally. This was not a new phenomena as this issue has long plagued societies the world over, and evidently this country is no different.

The Chamber said women have been disproportionately identified as victims, and have been known to suffer “at the hands of brutish individuals possessed by a warped sense of power and entitlement.”

It was noted that women continued to be objectified repeatedly on a range of platforms and perpetrators of these acts tend to argue that boundaries were blurred, and signals were often mixed.

This, the Chamber said, often resulted in “victim-shaming” which was one of many deterrents to speaking out against this form of violence.

As it pertained to the workplace, the Chamber felt enhanced legislation which explicitly addressed the issue of sexual harassment was urgently required.

Until such has been enacted, it remained incumbent upon employers to develop and enforce a comprehensive approach to maintaining an environment free of harassment and untoward behaviours of a sexual nature.

Supporting the Chamber’s position is the Bankers’ Association (BATT) which stood against any forms of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.

BATT said as much as 75 per cent of the banks’ employees were women and therefore BATT’s members must take their mandate seriously to protect all employees against gender-based violence, discrimination or harassment, and their continued commitment to provide a safe, healthy and professional work environment.

According to the Equal Opportunities Commission, this country was a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Government had ratified this convention since 1989.

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