AND HARRASSMENT IN THE TRANSPORT WORKPLACE
and harassment against women is a global evil and kenya,
particularly the transport and allied sector is no exception.
Every day rape, dowry related bridal burning, sexual abuse
of girl child, female infanticide, abduction for forceful marriage,
eve-teasing etc, are
making headlines in newspapers.
every reported case, there are numerous unreported cases simply
because of our social structure in which women are stigmatized for
life. There is a
proverb in which says that when a throne falls on a leaf or when a
leaf falls on a throne, the damage is always only to the leaf.
current situation clearly indicates that in spite of all our past
efforts, legislation e.t.c we are yet to make any dent in the
unequal socio-economics structure strewn with exploitation and
discrimination. As in
any other establishments, the women in the Transport sector also
face violence and chief features are outrage, profanation,
physical/mental injury, coercion, exploitation rape etc.
with higher education a few women may reach top position,
yet the majority of them are still like frogs in the well,
occupying mostly clerical and allied jobs.
who are unwilling to be condemned for life is such jobs and
looking for better prospects in demanding jobs, exclusively
enjoyed by men, face discriminatory and hostile situation.
It is rather common for women who succeeded entering a male
domain being harassed by male colleagues and those higher-up.
and when she raises her voice against their behavior or attitude,
she may even forced to quit the job by creating a situation where
in she can no longer continue.
When a lady
supervisor in a port cold-shouldered the advance by colleagues and
superiors, she was harassed continuously and when found not to be
amenable, she was transferred to the personal section even though
she was a qualified, whereas the ports berth itself was
handicapped by a shortage of such qualified supervisor.
Incidentally this lady supervisor was able to acquire the
higher qualification at the expense of the port, which her male
colleagues could not digest.
HARRASSMENT OF WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE
this purpose, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually
determined behavior (whether directly or by implication) as:
Physical contact and advances
A demand or request for sexual favors whether by words or
Sexually colored remarks
Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct
of sexual nature.
laws will always remain as an impression on the paper and
preaching is always easier done.
When cornered by bullies neither theory nor laws will help
the women. Hence,
sexual harassment is and must be a legitimate concern of the Trade
Unions. Trade Unions
are duty-bound to educate their members and install suitable
machinery to contain if not eradicate this menace.
Trade unions should also discuss the advisability of
involving the womenís movement in its deliberations.
harassment has become a cause for concern among female workers
with some organization spear-heading research and campaign against
against women take many forms.
It ranges from beating, psychological abuse and rape. Its common denominator is that the victims are women and they
are victims purely because they are women.
Some definitions include such laws, policies or structural
inequalities, there are discrimination and detrimental to women,
and could be also construed as being violent.
harassment is any behavior that is unsolicited unwelcome and
sexual nature verbal or unverbal that result in victimization, job
loss or working in a hostile environment.
It includes but not limited to the following unwelcome
patting of body parts, kissing
remarks, suggestive comments or practical jokes
of sexual activity by threat of punishment
persistently asked on a date after refusing
of violence at work places
line supervisors/managers are predisposed to harassing the women
they work with because of certain characteristics:-
way out this insecurity and lack of self-confidence is to try to
bolster their own ego by reducing the female colleagues to set
instruments existing merely to satisfy the males sexual desires.
This justifies harassment in their minds. The naÔve sexist
approach in nose cases is reinforced by the fact that the
supervisors own wife is a mere housewife and this renders the male
supervisor incapable of seeing more than a (misplaced housewife)
in his female colleague and shop floor worker.
another note they justify themselves by saying that he was
provoked by actions of his victims and for a moment lost control
on a fit of anger and passion.
Often accusations include that the woman had done something
that made her deserve the assault.
fundamental aim is to transfer the blame into the women who has
been abused. Despite
all these excuses, violence against women has little to do with
the man being aggravated and even less to do with what the victim
has done. Instead,
its roots lie in the mans desire to exert control and power over a
woman and would occur no matter what she did or did not do.
Company code of conduct and policies should not be mere
guides to accepted and unacceptable behavior at work.
They should definitely include sections in sexual
harassment but more as a preventative measure than a curative one.
There is need to be more specific in relation to sexual
harassment, including a clear policy condemning such conduct. Report incidents through unions, employment/works councils,
management and the legal system and support victims of sexual
harassment psychologically and emotionally.
Gender awareness and sensitivity programmes.
These should continue and be intensified as a way of
training and public education to change social attitudes that
promote the concept of female as a sex object created to satisfy
the male counterparts the need for fun and intimacy.
Research ahs shown that living with sexual harassment has
been an added health risk for women.
There should be lobbying for changes, in the labour laws to
include sexual harassment as a gross misconduct.
The laws should include a clear statement against sexual
harassment, a clear definition of sexual harassment, a clear
definition of sexual harassment and procedures to outline a policy
for employers with respect to sexual harassment.
society also sanctions violence against women through failure of
the family, the state, media and other civil institutions to
protect the rights of women in society.
The roots of violence against women simply lie in the
gender based inequalities in our society. Inadequacies of the legal structure to adequately uphold and
protect rights of women in society.
It is only be addressing these fundamental inequalities,
through social and legal structures, that significant advances
will be made to address violence against. Women.