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Masvingo Star Provincial Newspapers

Police moves to curb sexual harassment

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Ceicilia Zimba

The Zimbabwe Republic Police has begun moving towards thwarting workplace sexual harassment by promoting its organisational sexual harassment policy.

The police recently held a three-day sensitisation workshop where participants drawn from 15 different police provinces from across the country attended.

ZRP women network chairperson Commissioner Grace Ndou said the workshop came about after the national committee conducted tours towards the end of 2023 which showed that their members were not familiar with the organisation’s Sexual Harassment Policy.

Comm. Ndou, who is also Officer Commanding Mashonaland East Province said, sexual harassment is real and is illegal, and the ZRP has zero tolerance to sexual harassment.

“The ZRP promotes equal opportunities, safe and peaceful working environment for its members,” Comm. Ndou said.

She said the organisation’s Sexual Harassment Policy was crafted in 2009 and despite it being there, the members were not conversant with it.

“This is one of the factors that pushed us to make sure that they are aware that we have such document among us,” she said

“Sexual harassment is not a simple matter nor is it a one size fits all, and it is important to note that in the majority it is an issue of power versus vulnerable persons.”

Comm. Ndou said information will be cascaded to provinces and districts.

“The sensitisation of the policy started with the training of trainers who will conduct similar training interventions in the various provinces and districts.

“All trainers from 15 provinces will conduct similar training workshops to help cascade the message down to the last person in the organization as the ZRP seeks to archive zero tolerant to sexual harassment,” she said.

One of the facilitators Trust Mutsvanga said because of the migration to digital, it was necessary to also characterise sexual harassment in the context of the digital world.

“The main purpose, therefore is dealing with sexual harassment so that at the end of the day, trainers are armed with modern knowledge on sexual harassment.

Topics covered during the workshop included among others types of sexual harassment, causes and contributing factors of harassment, online sexual exploitation, the role of power in the sexual harassment, survivors and perpetrators of gender-based violence and legal consequences of sexual harassment.

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