On the eleventh day of #16DaysofActivism, I wanted to share about sexual harassment and bullying that takes place in the workplace. Being someone who has experienced something similar, I wanted to share that as well. Some of the stories are things that not even my mother knows about. But, they are part of my experiences and are worth sharing.
Sexual Harassment at Work
Reach Out defines it as unwelcome sexual behaviour that’s offensive, humiliating or intimidating. It goes further to clarify that it is unlawful. However, this is experienced everywhere. From schools to work to many other places. Both girls and boys can be victims of this.
Unfortunately, many men and women in suits actively harass others. Mostly done from those in positions of power to their juniors. Like I said, I had been a victim of such at an age when I did not fully understand.
My first job happened when I was 16. If you have read my short biography, then I guess you got to appreciate that I was out of school way early. At 16years, I had my higher diploma in business and was ready for some work. My ex helped me find a job as a merchandising supervisor. And I was excited. I would be getting my own money.
The very first week, it was clear the boss was smitten. My colleagues/friends who I was being trained with would makes jokes about it. Making it all real, but I cared less. Within days, he was texting me after hours and slowly started revealing his feelings for me. My answer was No, and it remained that way. Until he got frustrated with me and as a form of punishment, sent me to work in Zomba.
I would travel daily from Blantyre to Zomba, and would get back to work as late as 8pm. Two weeks of that torture and I quit. This was the first time I have had to witness sexual harassment at the workplace.
Till date, I experience it with my workmates. However, I am quick to throw threats, and most times, I try to be educational of the gravity of their actions.
Many more people are in worse situations than I was. People that cannot be promoted unless they give sexual favors to their bosses and many more. If you are, there are many organisations that can help you. Please reach out to them.