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Sexual harassment

at work

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Our story

Hivos believes that humanity can only contribute to greater good if all human beings lived responsibly and ethically.

Our premise is simple: realising true equality for men and women is not a pipe dream, it is possible. This is where our story of creating safe work spaces began.

Global campaigns like the #MeToo movement pointed us to a glaring reality of the walls that have protected the perpetrators of sexual harassment for decades.

A principal definition of sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behavior, which can make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. It manifests itself through either physical, verbal and nonverbal or written interaction.

Obscene phone calls are sexual harassment. Photo: Hivos/Samuel Githegi

 

Know your rights as an employee

Know your rights as an employee

The 108 International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention’s new standard on combating violence signals a hallmark on creating conducive workspaces with zero tolerance on forms of violence such as sexual harassment. This recognition by the international body has paved a new journey of dignity and social justice at work. It details that violence and harassment in the world of work “can constitute a human rights violation or abuse [and] is a threat to equal opportunities, is unacceptable and incompatible with decent work.’’

Kenya’s Employment Act of 2007 states that a worker is harassed sexually if the employer or its representative or a coworker request (directly or indirectly) for any form of sexual favor in order to get preferential treatment at workplace; or threaten the worker of detrimental treatment on present or future employment status of the worker. The Sexual Offences Act (2006) too criminalizes sexual violence as a crime with up to 10 years or life imprisonment if found guilty.

Uganda’s Sexual Offences Bill 2016 prescribes punishment of sexual offenders and further details procedural requirements during trial of sexual offences.

Tanzania’s Sexual Offences Provision Act prohibits sexual assault and enlists it amongst punishable crimes with a sentence of up to 5 years if found guilty.


Our premise

Hivos believes that humanity can only contribute to greater good if all human beings lived responsibly and ethically. Our premise is simple: realising true equality for men and women is not a pipe dream, it is possible. This is where our story of creating safe work spaces began.


Our work

Our grandmother’s miniskirt– an iconic campaign executed in partnership with Sitawa Namwalie, a Kenyan poet, playwright, writer and performer – seeks to start a dialogue about the politics around women’s choice of dressing and sexual harassment. The campaign will interface photography with diverse topics such as the right to bodily autonomy to promote awareness on sexual harassment.

Through the Women@Work program, Hivos has collaborated with partners in East Africa to create and implement a sexual harassment policy in the cut flower industry that will offer a safe haven for women.

Women@Work program's lab approach seeks to develop innovative solutions and approaches on ending sexual harassment at the workplace. This is through partnering with citizens and policy makers to design, test and prototype solutions that will bring lasting change in enabling safe workplaces where women can thrive.

By empowering migrant domestic workers to be free from exploitation and demand for decent work, our Bridges project works to 'bridge' the gap between employers and governments of origin (in the Middle East, Indonesia and Uganda) to act responsibly.

The Dignity in Labour Program seeks to promote, uphold and strengthen economic and labour rights of domestic workers in Kenya by amplifying their voices around equal opportunities.

Fashionomics aims to spur change in Kenya's fashion industry by developing a model production facility to create jobs and promote local women and youth enterprenuers, The project's approach is also hinged on principles of safe spaces for women. 

Colourful Workplaces program is working with local and multi-national companies to promote diversity and inclusion of LGBTI persons in the workplace. 

Choice of dress has often been used to justify sexual harassment. Photo: Hivos/Samuel Githegi

Partner with us

Want to partner with us and join our movement?

Here’s how: Email us:

Media inquiries: sakinyi@hivos.org

General inquiries: eastafricainfo@hivos.org

1 in 3 women has experienced sexual harassment in her lifetime

Photo: Hivos/Samuel Githegi