***Lament non inclusion of workers for design of protective measures
Bosses and superiors in the public and private sector, have been indicted in a new survey that exposed them as major perpetrators of sexually based violence in the work place, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Female workers in the Territory, maintained that their bosses and superiors indulge in sexual harassment in the workplace.
This they said has constituted some kind of barrier to their career development.
In a survey, funded by the Ford Foundation, in its drive to promote a healthy workplace experience for the womenfolk in Abuja, 91.5% of the respondents said their bosses and superiors are the top culprits and perpetrators of sexual harrasements in the work place.
According to the survey, respondents further said that 54.5% of perpetrators of sexually based harrasement are subordinates, while another 13 percent of their peers harrassed them in the work place.
The investigative survey executed by Heir Women Development was part of its activities under the Project: Carrier Barrier and Workplace Sexual Harrasement against young women in FCT.
Founder, HEIR Women Development, Mrs. Anuli Aniebo Olaniyi said the outcome of the research as an evidential research work should propel progressive application into curbing the identified outcomes that were presented.
She thanked the Ford Foundation for the support to provide empirical data, that would be used to make the workplace more assuring and safer for the FCT worker.
Anuli said that “If young women are empowered with adequate tools to recognize and report sexual harassment at work and the organisations encourage and develop tools to ensure compliance with sexual harassment policies, then young women will have better protection and chances to excel in their carrier aspiration.”
The survey got responses from 1,060 young women between the ages of 18 and 35 years, who were respondents of 1000 off line and 60 online target audience.
According to the survey, “Information from the online survey indicates that the highest proportion of sexual harassment was reported by women within the age range of 31 to 35 years.
It said that the incidence of sexual harassment at the work place seems to be positively correlated with age and could be plausibly explained to be due to more years of experience/ employment.”
The commissioned researcher, Dr. Obianuju O. Nnadozie, from the University of Benin said a respondent in an explanatory note stated that: “Sometimes because of the nature of the work some persons will be getting ideas in their head and trying nonsense but I always stand my ground.
“I had an experience where a guy tried rubbish, sometime It cost me my job eventually because I didn’t take it lightly with him. But he called after a while and apologized. I have forgiven him though,” the researcher pointed out at a zoom meeting organized to share the findings of the survey.
Findings from the survey revealed that there is a low organisational support for women returning to work after childbirth as 41% of the women have said in the survey.
More disturbing finding from the report is the revelation analysed from respondents that, members of staff from their various organisation are not concerned about developing measure to protect women from SGBV
It reads: “Majority of the respondents report that members of staff, at all levels, are never involved in the design of preventive and protective measures Casual/contract staff (75%) Low level staff (76%) Mid level staff (73%) Top management staff (73%) Famale workers (76%) a F’
Olufunke Baruwa, Program Officer, at the Ford foundation maintained that the report would be of effect where actions are taken by the relevant authorities in relation to the identified outcomes.
About 15 women led organisations and stakeholders attended the validation session of the public presentation of the research outcomes.
They were unanimous in their condemnation of the findings and called on the government and non-governmental organisations to step up the campaign against sexually based violence SGBV against women to educate the population and work out instrument to tackle the challenge.
Some participant at the meeting on Carrier Barriers and Workplace Sexual Harrasmeent Against Young Women in Nigeria, a reseach extract of the Federal Capital Territory are: Special Assistant on Gender to Speaker House of Representatives, Fatima Kakuri, and Head, Gender at African Union, Adaora Onyechere among others.