Sex­ual ha­rass­ment: The other side of the coin

Nairobi Law Monthly - - Society - ARTS | RE­VIEW NADRAT MAZRUI

Sex­ual ha­rass­ment refers to bul­ly­ing or co­er­cion of a sex­ual na­ture, or the un­wel­come or in­ap­pro­pri­ate prom­ise of re­wards in ex­change for sex­ual favours. It can in­clude un­wel­come sex­ual ad­vances. In most le­gal con­texts, sex­ual ha­rass­ment is il­le­gal. It is un­law­ful to ha­rass a per­son (an ap­pli­cant or em­ployee) based on that per­son’s sex.

In the work­place, ha­rass­ment can be con­sid­ered il­le­gal when it is so se­vere that it cre­ates a hos­tile or of­fen­sive work en­vi­ron­ment. The le­gal and so­cial un­der­stand­ing of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, how­ever, varies by cul­ture. In case of em­ploy­ment, the harasser can be the vic­tim’s su­per­vi­sor, a co-worker, a client or cus­tomer. Sex­ual ha­rass­ment can hap­pen to any sex or gen­der.

It may also oc­cur in a va­ri­ety of cir­cum­stances – in work­places and schools. Of­ten but not al­ways, the per­pe­tra­tor is in a po­si­tion of power or au­thor­ity over the vic­tim. With the ad­vent of the In­ter­net, so­cial in­ter­ac­tions in­clud­ing sex­ual ha­rass­ment, in­creas­ingly oc­cur on­line. One dif­fi­culty in un­der­stand­ing sex­ual ha­rass­ment is that it in­volves a range of be­hav­iours. In most cases, the vic­tim is of­ten at a loss to de­scribe what they ex­pe­ri­enced.

Ha­rassers can be ei­ther pub­lic or pri­vate. Pub­lic ha­rassers are fla­grant in their se­duc­tion and do not care about wit­nesses to their ad­vances. Pri­vate ha­rassers act care­ful and are re­strained around

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.