NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called on Government to ratify and domesticate International Labour Organisation Convention 190 (ILO C190) to protect women from sexual harassment in workplaces.
ILO C190 states that “violence and harassment in the world of work will not be tolerated and must end”.
ZCTU member Lillian Malunga said women fall victim to sexual harassment and violence in workplaces and they need to be protected.
Ms Malunga said this during ZCTU’s gender task force workshop.
And ZCTU acting secretary general Joe Beene said the current situation concerning all forms of harassment and violence against women at places of work cannot be allowed to continue.
“Harassment and violence at the workplace is real and this is the reason why ZCTU has formed a task force to address such violations against women at the workplace,” Mr Beene said.
He added that trade unions have discussed at length the importance of responding to specific needs of gender equality.
He said if unions are to achieve gender equity and equality at workplaces, they must have accountability frameworks that ensure that Zambia lives by the gender commitments it has made.
Meanwhile, Oxfam country director Dailes Judge said Zambia needs a narrative that enables better representation in decision-making with no strings attached.
“If this happens, we will not hear of reports of sex for promotion or sex for jobs or women not advancing in their careers because they refused to use ‘bottom power’.
Speaking at the same occasion, Minister of Gender Elizabeth Phiri said Government has taken the lead in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) through implementation of various policies such as the Gender Equity and Equality Act of 2015 and the Anti-GBV Act of 2011.
Ms Phiri said this in a speech read on her behalf by Permanent Secretary Sastone Silomba.
“We will continue to work towards laws aimed at attaining gender equality and improving the welfare and protection of the rights of working women,” she said.
NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka