WAN-IFRA Women in News, a global organisation focused on gender equality, conducted research on sexual harassment in newsrooms. The large-scale survey of news personnel looked at the rate of sexual harassment, how often people report it, the sources of harassment, and how organisations react.
Women in News defines sexual harassment as unwanted and offensive behaviour of a sexual nature that violates a person’s dignity and makes them feel degraded, humiliated, intimidated, or threatened.
The findings show that almost half of the women in newsrooms in Africa and that a little helpful action is taken when survivors report this behaviour. Organisations still cultivate unsafe work environments in which their staff seldom report it. If they do, their claims are likely dismissed. Or the accused is merely warned. The negative cycle silences survivors and empowers perpetrators. Read the full report here.
Resources for journalists and media houses
Women in News has published a comprehensive sexual harassment toolkit with practical instruments to develop in-house policies, communication systems and investigative procedures. We encourage you to access it here and use it in your media house.
- Practical guide for media employers and employees
- Awareness poster (A2) to put up in newsrooms and offices
- Sample sexual harassment policy
- Sample sexual harassment survey
- Sample communications templates
- Sample for interviews during an investigation
- Sample for feedback on a decision
- Informal Complaints Procedures
- Formal Complaints Procedures
The Kampala-based NGO, Akina Mama Wa Afrika recently published a handbook on Understanding Sexual Harassment in the World of Work, and a study titled “Tusikize! Listen to Us”, that documents how sexual harassment manifests, how it is perpetuated and how it has impacted the lives of women.
UN Women published a handbook addressing violence and harassment against women in the world of work. The handbook brings together the literature, policies and practices, providing promising examples from countries across the globe. The handbook spans the public and private, as well as formal and informal sectors, exploring a broad spectrum of issues and contexts. It articulates relevant international and regional frameworks, provides guidance on the role of state and non-state actors and social dialogue, and includes practical information on how to prevent and respond to violence and harassment in workplaces.
The Dart Center published a tip sheet about maintaining boundaries with sources, colleagues, and supervisors. It offers strategies for recognizing, mitigating, and addressing sexual harassment and other predatory behavior while reporting.
Download the Uganda Employment (Sexual Harassment) Regulations, 2012 for statutory mechanisms to protect you and your colleagues.
Also read and download the Vision Group Inappropriate Behaviour Policy and the Monitor Publications Limited Sexual Harassment policy.
ACME Talks podcast hosted Irene Abalo Otto and Carol Beyanga of Nation Media Group to discuss the pervasive problem of sexual harassment in the media in Uganda. Listen to the podcast here.
To seek redress, please see:
- The Equal Opportunities Commission (See the complaints handling process here)
- Center for Public Interest Law
- Legal Aid Service Providers Network
- Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda
- Chapter Four Uganda
- Fida Uganda
Need to speak to someone? ACME offers you a free opportunity to ask a mentor. Submit your question in the form on the Uganda Journalists Resource Centre and you will be contacted.