By Own Correspondent
THE International Labour Organisation (ILO) has partnered 10 local companies to develop sexual harassment policies including clear reporting mechanisms.
The work is being done under the Spotlight Initiative implemented by UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNICEF, and the ILO.
The project’s main vision is to create an environment in which women and girls realize their full potential in a violence-free, gender-responsive and inclusive Zimbabwe.
This Country Programme for Zimbabwe uses a multi-sectoral, multi-layered, interlinked, community-centred approach to implement the interventions.
“The ILO partnered with ten (10) private sector companies and one government ministry to develop and as well as review sexual harassment policies, including clear reporting mechanisms. The intervention included conducting education and awareness campaigns on SGBV and harassment as a communication and knowledge sharing strategy.
“It was meant to ensure the cascading of information to all levels of workers within a company,” an ILO update said.
Under the arrangement Gender Equality Champions were identified and also trained in all the partner companies.
They serve a critical role as peer educators in the workplace, mandated to provide correct information to colleagues, and guide appropriately on reporting and accessing referral services.This is one of the sustainability modalities for knowledge sharing as well as peer support
“The ten companies have developed Sexual Harassment policies in line with the ILO Convention No. 190 guidance.
“Early reports indicate an increase in the number of cases being reported in these companies, as more workers know their rights, and are clearer on reporting mechanisms, as well as protection of jobs after reporting,” said ILO.
In some of the organizations: TelOne – a telecommunications company; FBC - a bank and Dairibord – a dairy products processing company, gender committees have been set up to spearhead a broader Gender Equality programme.