ZIMBABWE Union of Journalists (ZUJ) in partnership with the Norwegian Union of Journalists have produced a report that reveals high levels of sexual harassment in the media.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
ZUJ secretary-general Forster Dongozi told NewsDay on the sidelines of a Gender Equity and Safety Training workshop last week that the union would seek solutions to the age-old problem.
“What we did was to commission a report whose findings were very shocking as they revealed high level of sexual harassment on female journalists including interns,” Dongozi said.
“One of the biggest issues was that both perpetrators and victims were aware of sexual harassment. So that is how we came with this programme that we empower our members with knowledge and information on what sexual harassment is and what interventions can be done.”
Dongozi said ZUJ would not prescribe solution but would seek input from practitioners including but not limited to naming and shaming perpetrators.
“We also need to identify counseling services to help victims as well as legal assistance,” he said.
The ZUJ secretary-general urged media houses to attend to issues of “equality at the work-station.”
Bulawayo provincial Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango indicated the police were ready to help fight the scourge of sexual harassment in the media.
“We are there to help you, if you come to charge office, ask to see the victim friendly officer who will take down the report. The victim-friendly unit is far away from the charge office where you have a closed door section and no one will be listening to your case,” she said.
“The victim-friendly unit deals with sexual crimes, domestics abuse, rape and anything to do with the women and the children.”
A presenter at the workshop Pamela Shumba, urged journalists to be conscious of the security at every event they cover.
“As journalists, our safety should come first and we should know the principles of personal safety as a journalist which is Situational awareness. Follow security procedures and protocol, have common