PRESS RELEASE : SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND HARASSMENT IN KENYA TEA FARMS
The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) is deeply concerned and condemns the revelations of sexual exploitation and harassment of over 70 women working in tea farms owned by Unilever and James Finlay & Co. in Kenya, as reported by British Broadcasting Corporation.
This exploitation and harassment is in complete violation of various legal frameworks, including the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Employment Act 2007, the Labour Relations Act 2007, the Sexual Offences Act 2006 and the National Employment Policy, which demand employers to take measures to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace. It is also against the National Action Plan on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence that calls for an end to sexual violence and exploitation. We strongly condemn this heinous acts and call for swift legal action to be taken against the perpetrators. We urge the government to ensure that all those responsible are held accountable and justice is served. We stand in solidarity with the affected women and their families during this difficult time.
As the mandated body responsible for monitoring, facilitating and advising on the integration of the principles of equality and freedom from discrimination in all national and county policies, laws, and administrative regulations in all public and private institutions, NGEC calls on all private sector organizations, especially those operating in the agricultural sector, to put in place appropriate workplace sexual harassment policies. These policies should ensure prevention, reporting, and investigation of such cases to create safe and dignified work environments for women.
We call upon all stakeholders to work together to end sexual harassment and exploitation in the workplace. We are committed to working closely with the government and other relevant bodies to strengthen existing policies and ensure they are effectively implemented to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Dr. Joyce M. Mutinda PhD, EBS