'Men sexually harassed in the workplace too'

HARARE - While women do experience more sexual harassment in the workplace than men, emerging evidence suggests that sexual harassment against men in the workplace also exists and is on the rise, Padare/Enkundleni/Men’s Forum has said.

Padare director Walter Vengesai said sexual harassment is real and men can be victims too.

He, however, explained that sexual harassment is prevalent among women as a result of power dynamics in the work place, making women more vulnerable.

He said men are more reluctant to report sexual harassment than women. There are a number of suggested reasons for this — stigma being one of them.

Many men may be too embarrassed to report sexual harassment, or they may consider it to be “unmanly” to report such behaviour.

“The reality is, in most cases men occupy higher and influential positions in the workplace giving them an upper hand over their female counterparts thus making women more at risk of sexual harassment as opposed to men,” Vengesai said.

“However, this does not rule out the fact that men are also sexually abused at the workplace.”

Vengesai said Padare has been carrying out various programmes to raise awareness and educate men on sexual harassment through community dialogues.

He said most men are not aware what sexual harassment really is.

Another men’s group called Varume Svinurai said men must not to be left behind and should be incorporated in the push to end GBV.

Several activities are lined up to mark this year’s edition of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence with activities ranging from awareness campaigns, social media campaigns, radio programmes, community dialogues and talk shows

This year’s commemorations are being held under the theme “Creating Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment in the Work Place.”

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