Sexual harassment at ‘epidemic levels’; even ‘trotro mates’, choristers do it

May [as we will call her] has been out of work since last May.  She lost it for the same reason she lost the previous one- sex or better still sexual harassment.

It began the very first day at work. Her supervisor, a married man was extra-complimentary enough to send signals that were more than just compliments

“He was always coming to me, I like you”. He went a notch higher – texting her at night and then a much higher notch – “sending me nude pictures of himself.”

When his sexual advances at work failed, her boss took on a hostile disposition. He began to find faults, magnify them and condemn her.

Intermittently, this approach was reversed to strategy one – ‘ be nice and entice’

After processing the happenings, May says she went to her boss- a female – to report the actions of her immediate supervisor.

Suffice it to say, things didn’t go well. ‘She thought I was sleeping with my boss,’ May recalled the confide-in-me-story that went awfully wrong.

She said her female boss stood by her male supervisor and was convinced that his morals were higher than sexual advances at his female employees.

May was fired by her female boss – just two month on the job.

For five months now, she had made little attempts to find a new one – shaken by a certain hitch that it could be a rewind and replay of her life. Since she completed the university, all her two jobs are two episodes of two horny men.

Like the previous one, she worked for three years until she was sent to another division where her boss started with the ‘bring-me-coffee’ request and later went all touchy.

While walking down the showroom one day, the man hits her buttocks to the unsuspecting observation of the office cleaner.

If she does not explain to straighten things out in the mind of the cleaner, the story of office relationship would go viral, May reasoned.

She came clean with the cleaner and took a painful decision to leave the job. She was pushed to jump, she noted, as she narrated tales of sexual harassment in the offices and how women are suffering under sex-hungry men.

Dinah Adiko a gender adivsor at the Ministry for Gender and Social Protection expressed no surprise. Stories like this is a staple in her line of work.

According to her, school girls in classes as low as class four are being sexually harrassed. At JHS it is “so rampant”, she expressed frustration.

It ranges from comments about sexy lips, gestures, invitations. And it has reached epidemic levels so much it has become normal, she explained.

Photo: Listeners sent in their experiences

Dinah Adiko pointed fingers at choirs in the church where women have a voice to sing but cannot find their voice to complain.   

Nothing escaped Madam Adiko’s wide net of blame – even bus conductors – ‘trotro mates’ are having a field day brushing their bodies on sensitive parts of female passengers they find attractive.

She rejects the view that sexually- suggestive dressing by women create harassment situations.

She explained that stories of rape and sexual harassment are even more prevalent in countries where tradition and religion are strong forces in dressing up a woman from head to toe.

In countries where all you see about a woman is her eyes, sexual harassment is common, she explained.

According to her, the problem is about people in the places of “power are taking advantage of the power they hold”.

 

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JOY 99.7FM’s Super Morning Show continues with the discussion next week Friday…stay tuned

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