Workplace sexual harassment cases have reduced – Kawalazi Union

Members of Kawalazi Tea Estate Workers Union have noted that cases of sexual harassment among female workers within the  tea estate have been reduced drastically.

Khembo (seated centre) with Kawalazi Workers Union members
Kumwenda: Sexual harassment cases have reduced

Chairlady of the Union, Hilda Kumwenda said  in Nkhata Bay during an interview during the assessment on the impact of Oxfam support in promoting Union activities in Estate.

She said the Estate used to register huge number of sexual harassment cases but were not being handled proper.

“With the establishment of the Union at the Estate, female workers have been empowered to know their rights and be able to report once they have been sexually harassed,” Kumwenda pointed out.

The Chairlady explained that the Union had been instrumental in sensitizing their members on the dangers of promoting such behaviour within work place.

She said some managers have been fired from the Estate after being reported of sexually harassing female workers.

“Most of the time the female workers where failing to report as they though they will be gaining favours from their supervisors in return. The situation has improved for the better now as most of them are aware to detect sexual harassment from their male supervisors,” Kumwenda said.

President of Plantation Association Workers Union of Malawi, Gracian Khembo said the joining of more women in the Kawalazi Union has helped greatly for them to have a voice.

He said the Union has a special committee which handle cases of sexual harassment among its members hence the achievement of the positive results now.

“The Union Executive has been very instrumental in dealing with issues of sexual harassment which were very rampant before the establishment of the Union,” Khembo added.

Oxfam is running governance programme within the Tea Estates in the country to strengthen their activities and be able to resolve issues concerning their members with management.

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