By Jane Beatrice Obila
Sexual harassment in workplaces is a persistent issue globally, and Kenya is no exception. The Employment Act of 2007 defines sexual harassment, emphasizing the importance of a safe and respectful work environment for all employees. This legislation is a crucial step toward curbing this menace and ensuring justice for victims.
According to Kenyan law, sexual harassment at work is strictly prohibited; unfortunately, some disobey this law.
Recent reports have shed light on sexual harassment cases within specific industries, such as the Kenyan tea farming sector, underscoring the need for comprehensive policies and awareness campaigns to combat harassment in various workplace settings.
To effectively address sexual harassment, organizations can adopt a sample of sexual harassment policy provided by the International Labour Organization to help set clear guidelines for reporting incidents, conducting investigations, and imposing penalties when harassment occurs.
Some employees may be hesitant to report harassment due to fear of retaliation, lack of trust in the process, or insufficient support from their employers highlighting the need for continuous efforts to improve and implement anti-harassment programs effectively.
While progress has been made, challenges persist in creating safe environments for all employees. Organizations and authorities must work together to ensure that these laws are not just on paper but effectively enforced to protect the rights and dignity of workers. Through awareness, education, and a commitment to creating a culture of respect, we can strive for harassment-free workplaces in Kenya and around the world.