Programmes Officer at Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF), Lois Addo has appealed to all firms and organisations to put in place a Sexual Harassment Policy to protect their employees and most importantly their cooperate reputation.
Sexual harassment and exploitation have caused very serious degrees of injuries to individuals and organisations over the years. Huge sums of money have been coughed out by firms to pay compensations to victims of sexual harassment within the organisations. Other companies have lost their reputations and have been thrown out of business due to sexual scandals.
Lois Addo told Helen Appiah Ampofo on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show that WILDAF is embarking on research on Gender Model Policy at the workplace and one of the targets is to engage state actors to ensure that state institutions have these Gender Model Policies that address sexual harassment at the workplace.
She mentioned that social stereotypes and roles have made women to feel men are better competitors for the same opportunity and have advantage over women hence immediately an opportunity avails, the women feel intimidated that the men would be favoured because it is perceived that women may get pregnant and go for maternity leave which makes it more attractive to employ men.
Lois Addo mentioned that Ghana does not really have a specific sexual harassment law but it is very important that issues of sexual harassment are seriously discussed in the workplace for all members to know their limits. According to her, most of the organisations in Ghana lack sexual policies except some multinational and international organisations which are influenced by their international policies.
“WILDAF has maintained and championed the need to enact a sexual harassment laws. Now the kind of working environment with the issue of access to working opportunities for women and this whole issue of ‘who you know’ in order to be recruited into a state institution and also to be promoted or progress in your career life, it is as if you need somebody at topmost position who should put in a word or two for you” Lois Addo said on 3FM
She expressed her unhappiness with how issues of sexual harassment are not accorded the necessary attention and stressed the need to put in place mechanism for reporting such issues. “These are the things we take lightly but the implications are dire. It’s just a few who can say no to a supervisor, looking at the opportunities that could be missed especially in a lucrative environment that promises opportunities.
Madam Addo acknowledges that the difficulty in finding money or getting jobs and some opportunities a senior colleague would be offering makes it difficult for most people to standup against sexual harassment at the work place.
By Samuel Afriyie Owusu|3news.com|Ghana