Sexual harassment is real

HARARE - Zimbabwe needs to take issues of sexual harassment seriously and ensure the practice is confined to the dustbins of history.

The issue was brought back into spotlight by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) which wants President Emmerson Mnangagwa to withdraw the appointment of new Registrar-General Clemence Masango.

ZCTU claims that Masango is facing allegations of sexual harassment and corruption from the time he was still working for the Department of Immigration.

In his defence, Masango has denied the allegations claiming that they were brought about by disgruntled sacked workers, who have an axe to grind with him.

Masango finds himself in a similar position as that of United States President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

The confirmation process for Kavanaugh has been thrown into doubt after a number of women came forward alleging he sexually assaulted them during his teenage years.

This saga has taken centre stage in the US as it is receiving a lot of media coverage which has helped more women, who claim to be Kavanaugh’s victims to step forward.

Most of these incidents occurred in the 1980s and all along, these women had been suffering in silence.

It took the bravery of Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old psychology professor, who became the first woman to make the claims against Kavanaugh.

The entire US is divided on the matter with Republicans steadfastly defending Kavanaugh while the Democrats want his nomination to be dropped immediately.

Zimbabwe is generally a patriarchal society where men generally treat women as sexual objects.

There are many cases of sexual assault and harassment which go unreported as most women are either humiliated or are afraid to come out and report their abusers.

It is high time women stand up for their rights and conjure up the courage to speak out when they have fallen victim to sexual harassment.

Men must also stop their chauvinistic tendencies because in this day and age, there is need to have consent before engaging in a sexual activity with a woman.

Authorities at workplaces, schools and the police must also make sure they have mechanisms that deal with the victims in a dignified manner.

Sexual harassment victims generally find it hard to come out in the open and when they do try to open up, those responsible for taking up the matter try to protect the perpetrators. The victims should always be given first priority while the accused are given a fair chance to defend their case.


Comments (1)

I find it disgusting that Masango is just dismissing those allegations as ''sour grapes from disgruntled former workers'' And is seemingly getting away with it just like that, surely government civic society and pressure groups have to come together and force ED to allow those woman to be heard and Masango to prove his innocence.

Sinyo - 29 September 2018

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