I was reading an article this week in one of the local dailies where secretaries under their umbrella body, Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals in Uganda (ASAPU) disclosed how they were getting sexually harassed by their bosses so they were appealing to the government to prevail over these bosses to end the vice.
The secretaries who pointed out that they are subjected to verbal advances, suggestive annotations, inappropriate touches and direct sexual demands said their jobs are at risk because their bosses threaten to sack them if they do not heed to their demands and this has affected their career prospects.
I really don’t like to see any woman stepped on but I think sometimes, we call for it. It really sounds pathetic for a woman to claim she is sexually harassed when such an act is prohibited in both public service and private sectors.
Sexual harassment is a conduct that by law is decreed a crime. So, I wonder why someone would decide to suffer silently over something that is punishable by law. If you don’t come out to accuse your assailants, how then do you want the government to help you?
Or could the fact that you choose to remain salient be based on the fact that you earn something valuable in return for being sexually harassed.
Would we still call that sexual harassment when you give consent to be harassed? Why do I say consent? Because I don’t think there is any woman who can allow being sexually harassed when there is a way out.
There is always an ultimatum – to either accept the sexual demands or lose the job. Unfortunately, instead of choosing the latter, you go with the former. And then you come out to complain of how sexually you are harassed. Forgive me when I say that’s pathetic.
If women are this weak then I suggest they stay at home and cook for their families rather than try to compete with men in this wicked world.
But if you want to have equal rights and opportunities with the men that have proved to have control over you, I suggest you stand up and fight. It’s always your choice. You can choose to fight for your rights, or shut up and suffer in silence or simply give up your job and try elsewhere. After all, Success is about sacrifice.
Dianah Bauza, Kyengera