As the world commemorates the 16 days of activism, UNDP Malawi staff reaffirmed their commitment to zero-tolerance on sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse of authority, with an all staff face-to-face training on Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Exploitation.
The training was aimed at ensuring that all staff are equipped with the knowledge and tools in the prevention of sexual harassment and sexual exploration within the work space and beyond.
In her opening remarks to the training workshop, UNDP Malawi’s Deputy Resident Representative, Claire Medina, emphasised that it is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that the workplace is safe and respected.
“This is a very important training for all staff. We are all key and have a responsibility to understand what constitutes sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse of authority; and ensure that we are not propagating any of it as UN staff,’’ she said.
The training unpacked the different key concepts on sexual harassment, abuse of authority, sexual exploitation, gender equality; procedures of reporting abuse; roles and responsibilities of all staff; available regulations and policies and more. It also tackled issues of gender sensitive communications, to help improve how staff communicate and ensure equal representation and visibility for men and women in all materials.
Commenting on the training outcomes, one of the participants to the sessions said: “As someone very new within the organisation, the training has been informative and interactive. It provided a space where we were all sharing our views, and the in-person method made it very beneficial.”
Echoing the sentiments on the benefits of the training, another participant added that; “one of the reservations that I had expressed at the beginning was that the content may not have been relatable to what is on the ground and how to apply certain concepts in a multicultural place like this. But the concepts are universal, and I have learnt how to go about intervening when you witness or believe that a colleague is being harassed”.
In their recommendations to UNDP’s zero tolerance on any form of harassment, the participating staff recommended that the Taskforce on Prevention of Sexual Harassment across UNDP, should also incorporate more creative and innovative infotainment resources to help tackle and prevent sexual harassment within or outside the workplace.
Prevention and Response to Sexual Misconduct
All forms of sexual harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) are unacceptable and are prohibited in UNDP, whether perpetrated against a recipient of assistance or a co-worker.
Click here to learn more about the United Nations' work on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse.