Following an increase in sexual harassment cases at tertiary institutions, students have been urged to desist from putting themselves in compromising positions in search of better marks.
Speaking at a Sexual Harassment workshop held at Gweru Polytechnic College, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) Gweru Chapter Gender Based Violence (GBV) Chairperson, Agness Muuya said girls should always aim to work hard so that they succeed without offering sexual favours to the lecturers.
“Never rejoice in sexually transmitted marks. Always aim higher in everything you do. Tell yourself that you are special,” she said.
Sexual harassment is a type of harassment involving the use of explicit or implicit sexual overtones including inappropriate promises of rewards in exchange for sexual favours.
In an educational setting, “quid pro quo” sexual harassment is very common when a superior offer to reward a student academically in exchange for sex.
Clara Maregere, a legal expert, advised the students to report all forms of harassment and to speak out.
“Sexual harassment exists, but as students, I advise you to stand for your rights and speak. Report to relevant authorities as soon as it happens so that you are quickly assisted. You can also apply for an interdict, “said Maregere.
To that effect, Gweru Poly students promised to push for a sexual harassment policy where every student is granted access to a copy of the sexual harassment act.
Esnath Dimingo, a student, said the engagement was useful as they are now aware of the necessary steps to take when they face sexual harassment.
“I would like to thank WCOZ for this engagement. With this information, there is a guarantee that the girl child is now equipped and safe,” she said.