According to the Merriam Webster dictionary sexual harassment can be defined as the “uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate (such as an employee or student)”.
Sexual harassment is an act that has eaten so deep into the work place territory in Nigeria. Our culture and tradition which seeks to objectify women has even made it more rampant, and women are expected to bear this humiliating act in the work place in order to protect their careers. They are often advised that if they want to climb to the pinnacle of their career then they must hush up and keep bearing every form of sexual harassment they encounter along the way.
Any attempt to make a report, the woman would be seen as arrogant and pompous.
She would be seen as a proud woman who wants to dominate a work force that is often times being dominated by men.
The protection of her dignity is pointless to them, and as far as the people who support such sexual harassment on the female folk are concerned, they feel the ideal thing is for such women to continue to endure it, or give in to it.
It is pathetic that women have to keep suffering for the lack of self-control of sexual predators in their offices. Many of these women have a lot of issues to deal with in their personal lives but they still have to add sexual harassment in the office to it because there is no adequate policy spelt out against sexual harassment in their place of work to protect them. Being a married woman is not the business of these sexual predators, even pregnant women are not left out of their harassment. The single women on the other hand suffer so much under this atmosphere of sexual tension and harassment, and their refusal is not tenable because they are single and they should be available for such office dalliance.
All these has to stop!
Sexual harassment is a form of a mental torture, and it is office bullying.
Many women are already scarred due to their experiences as a job seeker. Jobs are dangled before them like a piece of bone that is dangled before a dog. Many of these predators often times exploit these women by preying on the fact that there are no jobs out there, they use that opportunity to ask for sex in return for a job. Many times these women are just used and dumped. The job would not be given to them and they would be further disrespected and cast aside like a bowl of water used in washing a dirty hand.
The economy is hard, and the society is very harsh on anyone who is jobless, it is not every woman who has the strength to say no to a sexual demand being asked for, in return for a job that can pay their bills and take care of their other responsibilities, so they give in to the demand against their own will and wish.
Can we blame them? They have to survive and the jungle out there is not friendly when you are jobless.
Must this be so?
Must it continue to go on like this?
We need to come to the table and begin to expose this rot, call it what it is and proffer a lasting solution to this menace.
Women must be able to look for jobs and make connections with men without the fear of being sexually harassed or bullied.
Why do you want to make her a whore because you want to give her a job?
Women must be able to ask for a male to mentor them without the fear of the conversation shifting to sexual topics.
Women must be able to relate with male customers or clients without being afraid or weary that sex would be demanded in exchange for patronage.
The pains and the mental attack that comes with the territory of sexual harassment at the work place is magnanimous.
Speaking from the perspective of being a victim of bullying bosses who sexually harassed, embarrassed and consistently disgraced me till I had to walk away from one of my jobs in Nigeria, I understand the pains that goes on in the heart of a sexually harassed female employee.
A sexually harassed female employee thinks that……………………..
“I want to be able go to the office without being scared of my boss and the sexual demands he would make next.
I want to be able to dress smart and good without having the fear that my boss would grope my behind or back me into the wall for a sudden skin crawling wet and dirty kiss.
I want to be able to wake up in the morning without my heart panting and depression threatening to overwhelm me because of the fear of the monster that lives within the wall of my office.
I want to be able to think about work alone and how to give my best while at work without being distracted or having to watch the movement of my boss from the corner of my eyes in order to prevent him from grabbing my breast or pinching my nipple stylishly while no one notices what he just did.
I am very innovative but the psychological torture of the harassment my boss has subjected me to has shut down my brain, and all I can think about is the next strategy of how to avoid him without being disrespectful and to also save my job.
How can I innovate when you do not allow me to permeate? I am always on edge trying to side step you.
How can I create when all you do is infiltrate?
Dancing around me like a demon looking for how to pounce on me and my helplessness.
How can I give the company my best when you have taken away my rest?
Click on the link below to download the free eBook attached to this article.
Why can’t you give me my peace sexual predator?
I have bills to pay, I love my role, I just want to work and bring in my best,
Why can’t you let me?
This is the kind of hopelessness a woman undergoing a sexual harassment at the work place is subjected to.
We just have to have to be vulnerable and take away the shame while exposing sexual harassment in the work place in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Sexual harassment at the work place is office bullying and a lot of women are helpless and backed into a corner because of the fear of joblessness.
It is not everyone that can look at it in the face and tell it to go to hell knowing that they would lose their job or be consistently bullied till they have to quit with their mental well-being in shambles. Some people give in against their will and wish out of desperation, they have bills to pay, they have a family to nurture.
People must be able to work in stable, fair and comfortable conditions with the believe that the code of conduct of the organization and the administration has gotten their back.
We need to call out sexual harassment and have each other’s back at the work place. If everyone unites and call it what it is without mincing words, predators would apply caution. The people at the helm of affair in each organization have to begin to take the issue of sexual harassment seriously. They need to draft a policy that will protect women in their organization. The Nigerian Labor Act have to be amended and sexual harassment must be included and spelt out categorically in order to protect women in the work place.
As Today’s Women, we all say no sexual harassment at the work place.
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Were you able to download the eBook? It is very beneficial, a lot of issues and personal experiences were discussed as regards sexual harassment for students and employees. If you were not able to download it, then send me an email through firstname.lastname@example.org
I would send it to your inbox.
Have a great day ahead.
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