Kenyan Media Houses Lead in Sexual Harassment Cases

Women in African-based news organisations are twice more likely to experience sexual harassment than men.

World Association of News Publishers (Wan-Ifra) Women in News’ latest report covering eight African countries shows 56 per cent of women suffered both verbal and physical sexual harassment.

Comparably, 24 per cent of men faced verbal sexual harassment and 15 per cent, the physical form.

A total of 584 media professionals from Botswana, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe filed the online survey on sexual harassment in the workplace carried out between July and November, 2020. Another 32 media executives were interviewed on the same.

Women were most subjected to verbal sexual harassment with Kenya leading with 79 per cent, followed by Zambia (66 per cent) and Uganda (63.1 per cent).

Harassed physically

In Malawi, 57.8 per cent of the women suffered the same, Tanzania (47 per cent), Zimbabwe (41 per cent) and Rwanda (40.7 per cent)

In Botswana, more women experienced physical sexual harassment (48 per cent) than those who reported having been sexually harassed physically (40 per cent).

Overall, the executives are the main perpetrators (41 per cent) of the sexual harassment, followed by colleagues (38 per cent) and news sources (17 per cent).

The managers are neither immune to the harassment. Fifty per cent of the 32 executives interviewed said they had been victims of sexual harassment but only nine per cent reported.