THERE is a need to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace by encouraging girls and women to break the silence.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TGNP Mtandao Executive Director, Lilian Liundi stressed that it would be difficult for Tanzania to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) and industrial economy if there was no effort to fight against gender-based violence, especially sexual corruption in the workplace.
Ms Liundi was speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday at an event to commemorate 16 days of sexual violence, where she said sexual violence in society affected development, undermined women’s dignity and also reduced the morality of work in various areas.
According to the Tanzania Judges Association (TAWJA), “one of the challenges facing Tanzanian women looking for employment is that they are asked for sexual corruption. This has brought back their progress and it also undermines their basic rights to employment,” she said.
Most victims of sexual corruption are mothers, relatives, children, girls, or fellow workers in the workplace, leading others to die early after contracting HIV/Aids. Ms Liundi called on participants to join other women’s rights activists and gender equality groups to strongly oppose such actions because sexual corruption was a violation of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Act No 11 of 2007.
The Act clearly states that a woman, who is asked for sexual corruption, to be offered employment should report to PCCB or other relevant offices to ensure the culprits are arrested and arraigned. Tanzania has adopted a number of regional and international human rights instruments aimed at guaranteeing gender equality, women empowerment and also protect them from violence and other forms of violence.
They include the National Vision, Women Anti-Violence, the Beijing Declaration and the Action Plan, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SADC’s Gender Equality Agreement and the Supplementary Prohibition on Abolition of Violence and discrimination against women and children (CRC) and the Five-Year National Development Plan.
“Although Tanzanian legislation provides for equality between women and men, this equality has not yet been achieved in ensuring that women are always legally entitled to their rights,” she noted. Ms Liundi stressed the importance of improving the employment environment and relations between employers and employees to eradicate gender-based violence in the workplace.
There is also a need to maximise productivity in sustainable development, promote and protect women’s dignity by eliminating sexual harassment and increase confidence in women, economic development promotion and enhancement in the expansion of Tanzania’s manufacturing and eradicating sexual corruption to give women decent job opportunities.