Folade Mutota, executive director for the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development today said taunting about sex and gender was the most prevalent form of sexual harassment reported by the LGBT+ community.
Mutota was speaking at the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights, Equality and Diversity as non-governmental organisations meet on the inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace, held at the J Hamilton Maurice Room, Parliament Building, Port of Spain.
She said sexual harassment must be prohibited whether it took place within the organisation premises or outside, including at social events, business trips, training sessions, or conferences sponsored by the company or the organisation.
“We understand the challenges which under-reporting causes for policy development and legislation. I wish to suggest that under-reporting is largely a consequence of the nature of sexual harassment characterised by fear of victimisation, retaliations stigmatisations, and gender stereotyping.
“We are of the view that standard training to empower onlookers to recognise and act when they witness sexual harassment along with whistleblowing policies that ensure anonymity can potentially increase reporting.”