Will Sexual Harassment Ever Come To An End?

By Lynnet Okumu / Published June 22, 2021 | 8:12 am




KEY POINTS

Sexual harassment is one of the very few topics that people shy away at the bare mention, and even though it has been discussed over and over again, it still remains on the rise for both genders.




Sexual harassment is one of the very few topics that people shy away at the bare mention, and even though it has been discussed over and over again, it still remains on the rise for both genders.

Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

We have heard or even been victims of sexual harassment, the most common being the quid pro quo, which is a form of sexual harassment where employment decisions are made based on the employee acceptance or rejection of unpleasant sexual behaviors.

For example, the head of a department in an organization firm withdrawing his/her supervisory roles or services to a junior employee, an intern, or an attaché because he/she has refused to get into their “box”.

Sexual harassment does not just occur in offices only. It happens everywhere almost every day in formal and informal interactions, online and offline spaces, etc.

It happens to both men and women in special media platforms in hotels, salons, churches, gyms on the roadside, etc.

Sexual harassment in Kenya has specifically taken a not normal angle although a majority of the population has chosen to treat it as normal. Most cases include especially ladies seeking employment, internships, or attachment opportunities.

It has become the new normal not just in the town setup. Refusing to give in to the dirty demands would mean that your “outdated”

Even those who are well aware of the laws and the dangers of keeping silent still prefer to remain silent because there is no clear procedure on who to contact or where in case of a sexual harassment at the workplace. One would choose to secure his/her job even if it means giving in to the sexual harassment especially during this time of covid 19 pandemics where family heads are under pressure to deliver their responsibilities.

Okay, isn’t funny how abnormalities are first accepted as normal in our land?

Sexual harassment is a criminal offense in Kenya. According to clause 23 of the Sexual Offences Act (2006), any person in authority or holding a public office is prohibited from making sexual advances or requests .in any case he/she does, such a person is liable to a minimum three-year jail term or a penalty of not less than ksh.100,000.

Other forms of sexual harassment such as sexual assault, attempted rape, and indecent acts are also crimes that attract a five-to-ten-year jail term according to the Act.

It’s very rare to find an ordinary citizen suing a person in authority or just another fellow ordinary citizen because they believe they do not have the power to do so.

Well, this is one delicate topic that requires a lot of engagement and effort to completely delete from society.

First of all, it is very important to note that it’s very possible to successfully litigate a sexual harassment offense.

To do this, the aggrieved person must provide proof of the claim which can be in form of text messages, calls, emails calls, etc.

So many people become collaborators of sexual harassment when they fail to take action.

Despite the existence of anti-sexual laws in the country, the irony is that the number of men and women being sexually harassed keeps on rising, especially sexual assault.

As opposed to the Employment Act (2007) which stated that only companies with more than 20 employees were supposed to have a sexual harassment policy, the Employment (Amendment) Act 2019 demands of firms with more than 5 employees have the policy.

The policy should clearly state that each employee is entitled to employment that is free of sexual harassment, how to report the offense.

Furthermore, the staff should be sensitized through strategies such as email reminders and weekly talks to eliminate breeding grounds for sexual harassment in organizations.

Favoritism based on sexual favors at workplaces should be avoided at all costs because it jumbles up the conducive working environment.

An employee has a right to seek justice through the court if the employer fails to take action within 14 days of the notice.

As an ordinary citizen, you also have a right to follow the legal procedures to sue any person who sexually harasses you at any given time. Do not die in silence.







More Articles From This Author








Trending Stories










Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE



ARCHIVES

2021
  • January 2021 (182)
  • February 2021 (227)
  • March 2021 (325)
  • April 2021 (260)
  • May 2021 (285)
  • June 2021 (274)
  • July 2021 (232)
  • 2020
  • January 2020 (272)
  • February 2020 (310)
  • March 2020 (390)
  • April 2020 (321)
  • May 2020 (335)
  • June 2020 (327)
  • July 2020 (334)
  • August 2020 (276)
  • September 2020 (214)
  • October 2020 (233)
  • November 2020 (242)
  • December 2020 (187)
  • 2019
  • January 2019 (253)
  • February 2019 (216)
  • March 2019 (285)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (272)
  • June 2019 (251)
  • July 2019 (338)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (306)
  • October 2019 (313)
  • November 2019 (362)
  • December 2019 (319)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (213)
  • March 2018 (278)
  • April 2018 (225)
  • May 2018 (237)
  • June 2018 (178)
  • July 2018 (256)
  • August 2018 (249)
  • September 2018 (256)
  • October 2018 (287)
  • November 2018 (284)
  • December 2018 (186)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (194)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (165)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (248)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (108)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (120)
  • July 2015 (148)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (188)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (173)
  • December 2015 (207)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950