Many women around the world are quietly fighting an uphill battle at home, at work, and in institutions. Sexual harassment is the battleground. The figures are astounding. Hundreds of thousands of women are sexually harassed every day. Women in poor countries are afraid to speak up due to norms and traditions. Furthermore, they feel embarrassed and afraid of losing their employment if they report sexual harassment to authorities.
THE #METOO STORY YOU HAVEN’T HEARD: LISTEN TO THE WOMAN SPEAKING OUT IN NIGERIA
“I was 20 years old when a married CEO of a company I worked for asked me to have sex with him. My response was the word “NO” and went ahead to remind him that he was my boss and was also a married man.
The day I said “No” was the start of my misery at the company as that pathetic man did his possible best to frustrate me on the job. In addition, portrayed me as a terrible worker; trying to downplay my competence. Without making it seem like he was punishing me for refusing to have sex with him. Besides, I was so afraid of loosing my job that I couldn’t speak this out to anyone.
On one of those occasions, I decided to confront him and you guessed right; all hell broke loose but I did pick that particular battle because I knew my rights on this issue which he did not think I did. Also, I was pretty sure I would win that case even if we were supposed to appear before the International Court of Justice.
From that day on, he kept his distance and I kept my job till the day I decided to walk away from it.” – Anonymous
SEXUAL HARASSMENT – YOU NEED TO KNOW
This is a typical example of workplace sexual harassment and retaliation. Also,it is a common problem nearly every woman faces in the workplace. As well as for the purpose of clarity, I will go ahead to state what workplace sexual harassment is.
DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
According to the Australian Human Rights Council:
‘Sexual harassment’ is any form of unwelcome sexual behavior that’s offensive, humiliating or intimidating. It can be written, verbal or physical, and can happen in person or online.
Sexual harassment leaves lasting effect on the harassed, affecting their routine, health, and mental state. In the same way, some victims have reported experiencing depression, anxiety,PTSD symptoms, low morale and decreased work performance.
THE TRAJECTORY OF NIGERIAN LAW REGARDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE
In Nigeria, there is enough statistics to show the prevalence of this evil. In fact, many women reported they feel ashamed to report the harassment to authorities because they find those authorities harassers too.
A study by Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER) shows that unmarried or young Nigerian employees are more likely to experience sexual harassment at their workplace.
NEVER ENDING TALES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT FROM NIGERIA
HERWORDS got a chance to speak to a woman who requested to remain anonymous as she shared her workplace sexual harassment experience. She talked about the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment.
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Workplace Sexual Harassment is a problem that should be addressed. Sexual harassment is something that no one deserves or asks for. Everyone has the right to work and live in a free of harassment, bullying, discrimination, and violence environment. This evil is against the law (under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984).
Finally, One thing I would like to suggest to all my lovely women getting into the workforce is that they should be certain and well aware of the sexual harassment policies at their workplace. STER survey showed that only 38% of participants in its survey reported the existence of such policies at their workplace. Also, we should take all the important measures to protect ourselves against this menace.
Like wise, I don’t know who need to read this but Read this!
You’re not a victim for sharing your story. You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. And you never know who needs your light, your warmth, and raging courage”
ALL THE LOVE! – ADAEZE OGBUAFOR