Streaming issues? Report here
Abongile Nzelenzele 2019 1500 BW Abongile Nzelenzele 2019 1500 BW
Early Breakfast with Abongile Nzelenzele
04:00 - 06:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
See full line-up
Early Breakfast with Abongile Nzelenzele
04:00 - 06:00

Home
arrow_forward
Business
fiber_manual_record
Local

'The workplace is not pro-woman' - panelists discuss sexual harassment

27 March 2018 1:13 PM
Tags:
Sexual violence
Patriarchy
Office
Misogyny
wORKPLACE
sexual harrasment
A panel of women discuss how patriarchy and misogyny manifest in the workplace, lecture hall, court room and other social spaces.

Many South African organisations have become complicit in normalising rape culture and misogyny.

The issue of sexual harassment in the workplace has once again come under the spotlight, after a former director at Grant Thornton SA broke her silence.

Nerisha Singh recounted her trauma after her employment was terminated when she laid a complaint of sexual harassment.

LISTEN: How Grant Thornton SA allegedly covered up sexual harassment

A panel of women discuss the various ways patriarchy and misogyny manifest in the workplace, in a lecture hall, court room and other corners of society.

What is sexual harassment?

Labor specialist Natasha Moni defines sexual harassment as unwanted, unwarranted, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.

According to Moni, forms of sexual harassment include physical, verbal, non-verbal, quid pro quo, sexual favouritism and grooming.

Read: How Grant Thornton SA allegedly covered up sexual harassment

Moni says Human Resources (HR) departments see sexual harassment complaints as threats to the company, which must be "neutralised".

She argues that many HR teams have become complicit in the perpetuation of rape culture in the workplace.

Seasoned radio and TV journalist, Faith Daniels has commended Singh for speaking out about her experience, which she says is all too common for many women in SA.

Daniels says many victims of sexual harassment remain silent because they raise doubts about their own discomfort, put their own behaviuor on trial and worry about shaming.

Also read: 'Why I won't reveal name of deputy minister who raped me'

She says survivors of sexual harassment should never have to doubt or question their experience.

Gender violence researcher Lisa Vetten adds that legislation fails to protect women against gender-based violence at a structural level.

Vetten says that the South African public is regularly outraged by individual stories of sexual violence, yet nothing is done to address the systemic issues that create barriers to gender equity and justice.

Social activist Lebo Ramafoko says the workplace and many other social spaces give power to patriarchy and are not pro-woman.

Ramafoko emphasises the importance of continuing to share individual stories, in a fight against silencing.

Sadly, Nerisha Singh's experience is not an isolated one at all. Her story is the experience of South African women everyday.

Faith Daniels, Head of Journalism at Kagiso Media

The perpetrator thrives on his position of power because of his level at work, his gender and the fact that what will happen [sic].

Lebo Ramafoko, CEO of Soul City Institute, social activist and feminist

These spaces are not pro women. The culture that thrives is the jokes we say to each other, the parts of women we pat and how we belittle them.

Lebo Ramafoko, CEO of Soul City Institute, social activist and feminist

Every so often it seems our attention is captured by a particular case, but we don't look at the broader systemic and structural problems. And our attention doesn't stay focused long enough for us to achieve change.

Lisa Vetten, Senior Researcher specilaising in gender violence

The law says sexual harassment is not permitted or condoned, and the duty to ensure this is the management's.

Natasha Moni, labor specialist Director at Moni Attorneys Incorporated, Acting judge and part-time commissioner at CCMA

The attention that the recipient is getting becomes harassment when it persists. The recipient must set their boundaries and the law seems to be a little archaic in that respect.

Natasha Moni, labor specialist Director at Moni Attorneys Incorporated, Acting judge and part time commissioner at CCMA

I have seen HR departments become complicit in sexual harassment complaints. They are no longer a valuable tool to complain.

Natasha Moni, labor specialist Director at Moni Attorneys Incorporated, Acting judge and part time commissioner at CCMA

Grant Thornton South Africa says it will respond to Singh’s claims on Wednesday.

Take a listen to the engaging panel discussion:

Subscribe to our Business Wrap Newsletter


27 March 2018 1:13 PM
Tags:
Sexual violence
Patriarchy
Office
Misogyny
wORKPLACE
sexual harrasment

Recommended

More from Business

car insurance short-term cover 123rfbusiness 123rflifestyle 123rf

No traffic and everyone’s at home… Some short-term insurers offer lower premiums

1 April 2020 7:38 PM

Short-term insurers suddenly carry a massively reduced risk burden, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler. Getting some back?

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Zoom logo

A tipping point for video conferencing

1 April 2020 7:15 PM

A business tool for older generations, a staple for younger ones

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

covid-19 coronavirus economy 123rfbusiness 123rflifestyle 123rf recession

What is an 'economic depression'? Are we heading for one? Lessons from history…

1 April 2020 7:09 PM

The Great Depression started 91 years ago and changed everything. Bruce Whitfield speaks to economic historian Keith Breckenridge.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

sars-commissioner-1jpg

Sars collects R1.4tr in taxes – up 5.3% on a year before, despite the recession

1 April 2020 6:57 PM

Despite the achievement, the country still lost R100 billion in uncollected taxes, says Commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

household-bills-debt-expenses-money-finances-black-young-couple-worried-123rf

Struggling to pay a debt? Your options: credit insurance vs debt relief holiday

1 April 2020 6:29 PM

Personal Finance expert Maya Fischer-French on the pros/cons of dipping into credit insurance vs opting for a debt relief holiday.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

absa-logo-newpng

Absa launches extensive Covid-19 payment relief programme

1 April 2020 5:48 PM

Absa is providing payment relief to its retail clients as well as its business banking and wealth customers.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Sorry we're closed sign restaurants covid19 coronavirus 123rf

UIF relief scheme: Employers must apply and not employees, pleads commissioner

1 April 2020 1:56 PM

UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping says close to 4,000 applications have been received, most from small businesses.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

signature-contract-business-dealjpg

Digital signatures - are they legally binding?

1 April 2020 12:43 PM

With so much of the world's business now being done in a virtual space, just what is the legal status of an e-signature?

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

doctor-medical-health-pexels-photo-1919236jpeg

Council for Medical Schemes to consider Covid-19 payment holiday options - CEO

1 April 2020 11:05 AM

The medical schemes regulator says it is analysing some of the proposals aimed at providing a payment holiday for members.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

money

Jonathan Oppenheimer on exactly how the R1bn lifeline for small businesses works

31 March 2020 7:41 PM

Banks will administer interest-free loans on behalf of the South African Future Trust (SAFT), established by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

More from Local

laboratory-technicianpng

'The jury's still out on use of anti-malarials to treat Covid-19'

1 April 2020 6:23 PM

Dr John Woodland cautions against the prospect of rushing into using chlororquine and hydroxychloroquine 'just to buy time'.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

divorce-2321087-960-720png

Joint custody in the time of coronavirus - what the law says

1 April 2020 5:30 PM

Thousands of parents affected by the government's strict lockdown rules say here's an urgent need for clarity in the law.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

fikile mbalula

Minibus taxis now allowed to load to 100% capacity, if all passengers wear masks

1 April 2020 5:20 PM

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has outlined changes to the regulations governing public transportation during lockdown.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

corona-graphicjpg

What's the truth behind the latest Covid-19 stats?

1 April 2020 4:35 PM

Latest figures show the number of confirmed cases in the country is 1, 353, while the number of coronavirus deaths stands at 5.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Doctor-medicine-health-hospital-medical-care-sick-note-certificate-123rf

Calls for mental health community to volunteer their services to medical staff

1 April 2020 4:27 PM

Medical staff at healthcare facilities across the country are taking massive personal strain in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

amazing-grace-green-point-lockdownpng

[WATCH] Green Point enthralled by mystery singer during lockdown

1 April 2020 2:41 PM

A rousing rendition of 'Amazing Grace' is spreading like wildfire on social media, leaving some Capetonians in tears.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Covid-19 coronavirus testing 123rf

No Covid-19 home testings kits have been approved in SA - medicines regulator

1 April 2020 1:58 PM

The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) wants people to report any companies or individuals selling home tests for Covid-19.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Sorry we're closed sign restaurants covid19 coronavirus 123rf

UIF relief scheme: Employers must apply and not employees, pleads commissioner

1 April 2020 1:56 PM

UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping says close to 4,000 applications have been received, most from small businesses.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

plkairportjfif

It's great to be home! - Amy Pittaway after Wuhan evacuation, Ranch quarantine

1 April 2020 12:57 PM

'The army and SAA crew were amazing, quarantine in Polokwane was like being at a holiday resort!' says the Capetonian.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

signature-contract-business-dealjpg

Digital signatures - are they legally binding?

1 April 2020 12:43 PM

With so much of the world's business now being done in a virtual space, just what is the legal status of an e-signature?

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward