Women asked to report cases of sexual harassment

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Association of Women in Media (AWOME) has asked its members to report issues of sexual harassment whenever they encounter them at their workplaces.

Chairperson for AWOME Dorothy Kachitsa told this publication that most of the time, sexual harassment in the workplace happens because men think they can take advantage of any woman they come across in any set up, including in the media industry.

She added that the situation is bad because men hold most of the senior positions such that these men harass women by promising them promotions, trips to the field and other incentives.

Kachitsa added that currently the association feels that female journalists are not open to come forward when they encounter sexual harassment in their respective workplaces and as AWOME they have highlighted the need to report such cases to relevant authorities.

“We have a social welfare committee that looks into this and we will continue to advocate for openness among female journalists so that we can eliminate issues of sexual harassment and abuse in the industry and anyone found guilty will be exposed followed by stiff penalities,” she said.

Kachitsa added that as a way forward, they have engaged a number of organisations that will be training and disseminating information on sexual harassment and gender based violence against female journalists in the country.

She further said that they believe that through these interventions, they will minimise and eliminate cases of sexual harassment and abuse in the media industry.

On her part, Montfort Media journalist Rose Chipumphula said that she once experienced sexual harassment and the situation wasn’t pleasant to the extent that she wanted to quit her job but later her colleagues advised her not to and they resolved the issue by questioning the man who offended her .

She then suggested that awareness on the issue of sexual harassment is needed in the industry more especially in the workplaces so that both men and women should know that sexual harassment is offensive.

Human Rights activist Memory Chisenga said there is a need for women empowerment because most of the sexual harassment cases that are being reported in workplaces happen due to the position that one holds considering that men hold higher positions than women.

She then suggested that there should be more trainings on self-defence so that the women should defend themselves whenever they encounter any form of sexual harassment.

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