i

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abbreviations and acronyms ................................................................................................................................... i

About the female students network ....................................................................................................................... i

Our vision ............................................................................................................................................................. i

Our mission statement ........................................................................................................................................ i

Our mandate........................................................................................................................................................ i

Goal..................................................................................................................................................................... ii

Objectives ........................................................................................................................................................... ii

Programming themes/focus ............................................................................................................................... ii

Core Values ......................................................................................................................................................... ii

Background of the Draft Sexual Harassment Policy ............................................................................................... 1

Statement of the challenge ................................................................................................................................ 2

Sexual Harassment Defined ................................................................................................................................ 3

Forms of Sexual Harassment .............................................................................................................................. 4

Effects of sexual harassment .............................................................................................................................. 5

Educational effects ......................................................................................................................................... 5

Psychological effects ....................................................................................................................................... 5

Social effects ................................................................................................................................................... 5

Emotional effects ............................................................................................................................................ 5

Sexually transmitted infections, physical injuries and unprepared motherhood .......................................... 6

Sexual harassment and the law .......................................................................................................................... 6

Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) .......................................................................... 6

Civil Law .......................................................................................................................................................... 7

Labour Law ..................................................................................................................................................... 8

Is Sexual Harassment a Criminal Offence ....................................................................................................... 8

Criminalizing sexual harassment in Zimbabwe ................................................................................................... 9

International Human Rights Instruments ........................................................................................................... 9

Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women ........................................... 10

i
Southern African Development Community Protocol on Gender Development ......................................... 11

The Protocol to the African Charter ............................................................................................................. 12

Beijing Platform for Action ........................................................................................................................... 12

United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women ............................................... 13

Procedure for reporting sexual harassment cases ........................................................................................... 14

Formal complaints mechanism ..................................................................................................................... 15

Informal complaints mechanism .................................................................................................................. 16

Sanctions and disciplinary measures ................................................................................................................ 16

Reporting Structure ...................................................................................................................................... 16

Implementation of the policy ........................................................................................................................... 18

Implementation framework ......................................................................................................................... 18

Stakeholder buy-in........................................................................................................................................ 19

Stakeholder Adoption of the policy .............................................................................................................. 20

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation .......................................................................................................... 20

Updating the policy........................................................................................................................................... 21

Training module for handling cases of sexual harassment ............................................................................... 21

ii
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

FSNT Female Students Network Trust
CEDAW Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.
ICECSR International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights
PAC The Protocol to the African Charter
The Code Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23
SDGs Sustainable Development Goals
TEIs Tertiary Education Institutions
SH Sexual Harassment
DVA Domestic Violence Act
UZ University of Zimbabwe
NUST National University of Science and Technology
UDHR Universal Declaration of Human Rights
ZLHR Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
GBV Gender Based Violence
GPA Global Political Agreement
CSU Counselling Services Unit
SAIH Students Academics International Help Fund
OSISA Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa
UN United Nations
UNGA United Nations General Assembly
SADC Southern African Development Community

i
ABOUT THE FEMALE STUDENTS TEIs in the country require the direct
NETWORK intervention of the government through
the formulation and implementation of
The Female Students Network Trust conducive policies and strategic
(FSNT) is a membership-based interventions. To this end the FSNT has
organization that works with female maintained good relations with relevant
students in 36 Tertiary Education government ministries namely the ministry
Institutions (TEI) across Zimbabwe. As of of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science
April 2015, FSN had 8,640 paid up and Technology Development and the
members and 11,360 registered members ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and
[unpaid]. The organization was Community Development and the
established in 2005 with the aim of Parliamentary Portfolio Committees of
empowering female students to actively these ministries.
participate and engage in institution-level
OUR VISION
and national-level democratic processes.
More specifically, FSNT sought to A non- discriminatory and gender
empower female students to speak out sensitive haven for female students in the
issues of violence against women in TEI tertiary education sector.
spaces and advocate for upholding of
women’s rights in the same. The FSN OUR MISSION STATEMEN T
concept was born out of its current To advocate for a conducive learning
director’s personal experiences as a environment for female students in the
female student activist, advocating for tertiary education sector through various
academic freedoms for students within participatory processes that enhance
TEIs. Being the only female student leader lobbying and advocacy capacities.
at the time, she observed that there were
gendered barriers to female students’ OUR MANDATE
participation and involvement in decision
The FSNT’s founding mandate and core
making processes within TEIs and the
business which is to:
wider society. This experience inspired
her to initiate the FSNT and her dream
was to see the voices of female students Empower female students in TEIs to
in TEIs being amplified and their concerns effectively participate in decision
addressed. FSNT came into being after making structures and processes
wide consultations with female students in through various capacity building
TEIs and various other stakeholders and it initiatives, including but not limited to
became a platform where female students leadership development, lobbying and
in TEIs interacted and shared experiences advocacy, civic education and
on the challenges they face in their day to governance,
day lives within TEI spaces. Represent female students in TEIs
through various initiatives aimed at
protecting and promoting their
The FSNT works with the government individual and collective rights as
through relevant ministries in its young women within tertiary
programming and policy advocacy institutions,
initiatives and it is through this sound and Establish networks of female students
strategic working relationship that the within institutions of higher learning in
organization has been able to make a order to promote exchange learning,
difference in TEIs in the country. The information gathering and
challenges that female students face in dissemination,

i
Establish and sustain a network of • effectiveness,
organizations that will respond to • inclusivity,
other needs of female students that • equality,
FSNT has no capacity to address. • tolerance and respect,
GOAL • dignity and integrity.

The goal of FSNT is; to contribute towards
the creation and sustenance of a conducive
and non-discriminating learning environment
for female students in Tertiary Education
Institutions (TEI) in Zimbabwe.
OBJECTIVES

i. To advocate for gender sensitive
policies and practices of Student
Representative Councils (SRCs)
and other student bodies in
tertiary Education institutions,
ii. To facilitate increased participation
of female students in decision
making positions of Student
Representative Councils (SRC) and
other student bodies,
iii. To increase the level of women’s
and human rights awareness
amongst female students in tertiary
education institutions,
iv. To facilitate female students’
access to psychosocial, legal aid
and other relevant support
services.
PROGRAMMING THEMES/FOCUS

i. Policy advocacy,
ii. Women’s participation in
leadership of SRCs,
iii. Human rights and,
iv. Psychosocial support
CORE VALUES

The FSN core values are;
• transparency,
• excellence,
• efficiency,
• accountability,
• team work,

ii
BACKGROUND OF THE DRAFT SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

In 2015, the FSNT commissioned and Sexual harassment amounts to unfair
conducted a national baseline survey on treatment and violates the right to human
Sexual Harassment in Zimbabwe’s tertiary dignity. The Zimbabwean Constitution,
institutions. The research was done in 21 through sections 51 and 56 of the Bill of
Tertiary Education Institutions across the Rights, upholds and protects human
country. Only 4 out of 21 institutions had dignity, equality before the law and
sexual harassment policies in place! advocates for non-discrimination. The
The findings reveal that SH 1 is very obligations imposed by the Constitution
rampant in TEIs with statistics showing of Zimbabwe are binding on every person,
that 98% of the female students had been natural or juristic, including the State and
sexually harassed. Many female students all executive, legislative and judicial
reported to have encountered Sexual institutions and agencies of government at
Harassment in different forms, like every level, and must be fulfilled by them.3
unwanted and uninvited physical contact The Labour Act (Chapter 28:01) compels
(touching, patting, hugging), inappropriate employers to ensure that there is fair
remarks, wolf whistling and offers of labour practices at work places. 4 The
favors, unwanted and unprotected sex and intention of the Labour Act is to regulate
even rape. The perpetrators of SH are and prevent unfair treatment, directly or
mostly male lecturers, male students and indirectly on one or more of the following
non-academic staff (including the spouses grounds including race, gender, marital
of lecturers) at campus. status, sexual orientation etc.
Findings suggest that many female There has been public debate about
students fail to live their college lives fully, sexual harassment by religious
making life style adjustments because of organisations, non-governmental
fear of SH in their living and learning organisations and particularly Women’s
environments. Many avoid participation in organisations but there is no policy
SRC and other institutional activities guideline to address the scourge of sexual
because of fear of being victimized and harassment that is raging on in TEIs like a
harassed by fellow students. veld fire. As far back as 1991 the then
Chief Justice of Zimbabwe, Enock
Absence of SH policies mean there are Dumbutshena said sexual harassment is a
limited gender sensitive formal legal challenge that must be met by all
frameworks for use in interventions aimed who pursue human rights in Zimbabwe.
at creating a violence and harassment-free
learning environment for male and in Win (1994) describes the relationship
particular female students. Having a SH between students and lecturers as a David
policy will make it easier for students to and Goliath situation, where the one in
report issues relating to SH and will power or authority uses his power to get
contribute to creating a safe learning what he wants. She suggests that
environment for students.2 institutions must design policies and
grievance procedures for those who are
sexually harassed.
1
The acronym for Sexual Harassment (SH) will be
used interchangeably with the term ‘sexual
harassment’
2
3
Section 2(b) Constitution of Zimbabwe
http://femalestudentsnetwork.blogspot.com/2016
/01/orange-day-fsnt-wouldlike-to.html (10 (Supremacy clause)
4
November 2016) Section 5(2) Labour Act, Chapter 28:01
1
Singer (1989) conducted a study which Bill of Rights. 6 Furthermore, this policy
demonstrates that those institutions that intends to encourage and promote the
do have a policy designed specifically for development and implementation of
sexual harassment and grievance
procedures that will lead to a University
procedures have a significantly higher
number of reports of harassment than and college environment free from sexual
those that do not.5 harassment.
The need to curb the prevalence and rise Underpinning this policy is a set of
in cases of sexual harassment in TEIs in recommendations from a research on
Zimbabwe has resulted in the drafting of
sexual harassment in TEIs that was done
this global sexual harassment policy
guideline. by F Zindi listed below;

STATEMENT OF THE CHALLENGE (i) There is a need for students and their
trainers to be educated on what
The FSNT has noted with serious concern
constitutes sexual harassment,
the lackadaisical approach by TEIs in
Zimbabwe (both public and private) when (ii) Proper reporting procedures on
dealing with cases of sexual harassment sexual harassment in colleges should be
and putting in place the necessary legal set up immediately. These should give
framework and infrastructure for stopping students the assurance that there will be
this rot. The National baseline survey no victimization should they make reports
commissioned and conducted by the about incidents that involve those in
FSNT in 2015 has revealed chilling authority. At the moment there is under-
statistics on sexual harassment, for reporting because of fear of the negative
example the fact that of the 21 institutions consequences of doing so.
covered by the survey only 4 had a sexual
harassment policy in place. The absence of (iii) Strong disciplinary measures, including
sexual harassment policies in TEIs in the dismissal, must be taken against lecturers
country relegates the issue of sexual who sexually harass female students,
harassment to a social misdemeanour that
(iv) Legislation which protects female
is not worth any form of control or let
students from sexual harassment must be
alone a serious discussion.
introduced as there seems to be an
The policy intends to uphold the rights of unwillingness on the part of society to
students in TEIs to pursue educational, recognize the problem,
social, cultural, employment and
(v) There is a need for counselling
professional activities in an atmosphere
services for students in every college.
that respects their rights and dignity as
These should include both experts in the
enshrined in the Constitution under the
field as well as lecturers and students.

(vi) Any policy seeking to encourage the
maintenance of professional, non-

5
6
http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/africanjournals Chapter 4 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe
/ adopted in 2013
2
exploitative relationships between create an intimidating, hostile or
lecturers and students must include repugnant environment; or (3) the
specific reference to propriety and behaviour persists despite objection by
responsibility of lecturers and must the person to whom the conduct is
provide guidelines for their conduct.7 directed. The institutions should consider
such behaviour, whether physical or
SEXUAL HARASSMENT DE FINED verbal, to be a breach of its standards of
Sexual harassment is defined as conduct and will seek to prevent such
unwelcome sexual advances, requests for incidents and take corrective action when
sexual favours, and other verbal or sexual harassment occurs8
physical conduct of a sexual nature when
According to Pierce (2003), sexual
either:
harassment may include some request for
• The conduct is made as a term or sexual favours either directly or by
condition of an individual's implication: sometimes ordered in
employment, education, living exchange for rewards such as academic
environment or participation in a success or promotion. In this context, the
University community. female student may be deliberately
touched, kissed or fondled and brushed
• The acceptance or refusal of such against her will by male students or
conduct is used as the basis or a factor lecturers. Very often, sexually oriented or
in decisions affecting an individual's obscene comments, for example
employment, education, living comments about a person’s physical
environment, or participation in a appearance or sexuality may be directed
University community. at her coupled with being questioned
persistently about her private life.
• The conduct unreasonably impacts an
Furthermore, uninvited visits, displays of
individual's employment or academic
erotic materials such as posters,
performance or creates an intimidating,
photographs and pornography and threats
hostile or offensive environment for
of physical assault via social media (cell
that individual's employment,
phones, facebook, whatsapp, twitter etc.)
education, living environment, or
all amount to sexual harassment.
participation in a University community.
Furthermore, Dastile (2004) states that
Sexual harassment is defined by law and the University of Venda in South Africa
includes requests for sexual favours, had several incidents of sexual harassment
sexual advances or other sexual conduct from the year 2000 to 2004 from different
when (1) submission is either explicitly or female students in different departments.
implicitly a condition affecting academic or A female student enrolled in Bachelor of
employment decisions; (2) the behaviour Arts, a non-resident and a class
is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to representative, was sexually harassed by
the lecturer when she went to call the
7
8
http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/africanjournals https://sapac.umich.edu/article/63 (November
/ ( November 2016) 2016)
3
lecturer for a lecture. The lecturer fondling, kissing, cornering or grabbing
touched the student, hugged and kissed as well as strip search by or in the
her in his office and this happened more presence of the opposite sex, sexual
assault or physical intimidation.
than once. The student felt uncomfortable
and irritated. This brought back past 2.3.2 Suggestive sexual comments; such
memories of earlier rape to the victim by as sexually related jokes, sexual
innuendos, foul sexual language,
her cousin9. This is just one of the many
obscene sexual gestures or enquiries
stories coming from TEIs showing the or comments about one’s sexual life
traumatising and emotional effects of and unwanted graphic comments
sexual harassment10. Most of these stories about a person’s body made in their
go unreported and the victims of sexual presence or directed towards them.
harassment carry this burden for the rest 2.3.3 The displaying of pornographic and
of her life. sexually suggestive pictures, cartoons,
drawings and sexual objects and
FORMS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT indecent exposure.
There are generally 2 types of sexual 2.3.4 Transmitting sexually offensive
harassment recognised in most text, written, telephonic and any
jurisdictions in the world and these are other electronic and non-electronic
Quid pro quo and hostile environment. communications.
However, the following shall include some
of the forms of sexual harassment11: 2.3.5 Sexual bribery- Solicitation of
2.3.1 Unwanted physical contact which sexual activity or other sex-linked
is sexual in nature including patting, behaviour by promise of reward; the
proposition may be either overt or
subtle.
9
Kheswa J.G (2014), Exploring the Causal Factors 2.3.6 Quid pro quo - A quid pro quo
and Effects of Sexual Harassment on Female harassment usually takes place when
Students at Universities in Africa. An Overview. a female student is coerced into
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences Vol 5 No having sex with her lecturer(s) under
20
the threat of failing a course. Willness
10
The FSNT has documented many similar cases of (2007) asserts that quid pro quo
sexual harassment harassment is equally unlawful
11
According to Imonikhe, Idogho and Aluede whether the student resists and
(2011), there are female students who can push suffers the threatened harm or
themselves to sexual harassment by seducing male remains submissive to avoid
tutors or lecturers to assist them to write their
victimization.
examination or be awarded unwarranted grades in
the examination. Through seductive behaviour, 2.3.7 Gender harassment- Generalized
female students may insist requests for dinner,
drinks or dates, persistent excuses when they have
sexist statements and behaviour that
missed deadlines for submission of assignments, convey insulting or degrading
phone calls and other invitations (Finn, 2004). One attitudes about women. Examples
way of doing this could be their dress-code when include insulting remarks, offensive
attending lectures or lecturers’ offices. In a study graffiti, obscene jokes or humour
conducted in Nigeria, Imonikhe and colleagues about sex or women in general.
(2011) found that lecturers cited that as a result of
revealing attire worn by female students, they
hardly concentrate, hence they make sexual
advances.
4
EFFECTS OF SEXUAL HA RASSMENT (2005) elucidate that sexual assault is one
of sexual harassment that causes victims
to suffer severe or chronic effects, the
EDUCATIONAL EFFECTS same psychological effects such as rape.
Studies have shown that sexual Victims become targets of retaliation,
harassment has a destabilising effect on backlash or victim blaming after the
the education of female students in that incident of sexual assault. Indeed, the
treatment of the female victims during
the academic performance of the female
investigation can be ruthless and it can
student suffers (Quaicoe-Duco 2010). add further damage to the victim’s psyche
Concentration on academic work will be life.12
subdued. In some instances, the female
student will lose interest in studying and SOCIAL EFFECTS
transfer to another institution or simply It has been observed that in most cases,
leave school due to hopelessness and the victim of sexual harassment becomes
pregnancy after unsafe sex with the the subject of gossip and derogatory
perpetrator. Sexual harassment leads to information and speculations at the
low self-esteem and low self-efficacy. campus. The victim feels surrounded by
such gossiping and derogatory information
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS and at times forces her to immerse herself
According to Campbell et al., (2009) in alcohol as a form of escapism and this
cognitively, victims tend to form negative aggravates academic performance. The
stereotypes in their minds about males judgements by all who know the victim
and begin to ruminate and constantly
either positive or negative can create a
check to see if there is anything that
caused the male students or lecturers to huge burden for the victim to carry
sexually harass them and end up through the university environment.
developing dissociative identity disorder
(Comer, 2013). Individuals with EMOTIONAL EFFECTS
dissociative identity disorder are
preoccupied with constant checking of Victims of sexual harassment, due to
one’s self in the mirror to an extent that psychological, social and educational
their day to day functioning becomes problems, develop emotional problems.
grossly affected and experience aloofness Recent studies have shown that female
and neuroticism because they are victims of sexual harassment become
demotivated (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2008). vulnerable and tend to experience intense
This de-motivation can cause withdrawal
anger towards their perpetrators or all
and gradually develops into depression.
males surrounding them. These feelings
Various scholars postulate that sexual are typical of the acute phase of post-
harassment can be very traumatic to the
traumatic stress disorder. Survivors of
individual, female students can develop a
phobia for men and may experience an sexual harassment respond through anger
intense anxiety, mood swings, become
melancholic in the presence of men and
12
prefer to stay inside the house (Bennett, Kheswa J.G (2014), Exploring the Causal Factors
and Effects of Sexual Harassment on Female
Gouws, Kritzinger, Hames & Tidimane,
Students at Universities in Africa. An Overview.
2007; Comer, 2013; Ryckman, 2008; Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences Vol 5 No
Nolen-Hoeksema, 2008). Silva and Hill 20
5
to the trauma they would have suffered.
This anger could provide victims with an
increased energy to persist when dealing SEXUAL HARASSMENT AN D THE LAW
with the fact that they had been subjected In Zimbabwe there is scant legislation that
to sexual harassment even though they effectively addresses the problem of
have no strength to carry on 13 . As a sexual harassment in TEIs as well as at
mechanism of copying with the stress, workplaces. The only existing legislative
victims of sexual harassment may take to attempts at addressing the problem of
excessive consumption of alcohol and sexual harassment are found in the realm
some become extroverts. The victims also of labour law. Some studies have indicated
develop certain behavioural tendencies that criminalising sexual harassment can
like avoiding certain places that reminds be a panacea to the problem.
them of the incidence.
Section 3.4 of the UN Handbook 15
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS, specifies that legislation of member states
PHYSICAL INJURIES AN D UNPREPARED should criminalize sexual harassment. It
MOTHERHOOD states as follows;
Many researchers have written on the
‘sexual harassment has traditionally been
issue of sexually transmitted infections,
physical injuries and cases of unprepared associated solely with labour-related offences
motherhood as some of the direct effects and defined as occurring only in the context
of sexual harassment. Holborn and Eddy of unequal power relations (such as boss
(2011) in a survey conducted in Gauteng against employee). Thus, sexual harassment
Province, South Africa among young men, has often been dealt with in countries’ labour
31% reported that their attitudes towards codes and only applied to those who
sexually harassing females was fuelled by
experience such behaviour in the formal
how women dressed and they presumed
that it was acceptable to rape women if employment sector. Over time, countries have
they dressed in revealing clothes. Forced acknowledged these limitations and begun to
sex being violent and leaving females address sexual harassment in a more
vulnerable, Wingood and DiClemente comprehensive manner and in various areas
(2013) found that it increases the risk of of the law, such as anti-discrimination law,
transmitting HIV. In forced vaginal and criminal law.’16
penetration, abrasions and cuts commonly
occur, thus facilitating the entry of the
virus through the vaginal mucosa. CRIMINAL LAW (CODIFICATION AND
Common physical injuries which occur REFORM) ACT (CHAPTER 9:23)
during rape tend to include genital In terms of the Code 17 an act of sexual
irritation, vaginal bleeding or infection, harassment may also amount to a criminal
decreased sexual desire, pain during
intercourse, chronic pelvic pain and
urinary tract infections (Cohen & Roth 15
Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against
2009)14. Women (UN Division for the Advancement of
Women)
16
ibid
13
ibid 17
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act
14
ibid Chapter 9:23
6
offence. Section 67(1) of the Code states this section a person charged with a crime
that ‘indecent assault’ 18 is committed shall be entitled to be acquitted of the charge
where a male “commits upon a female if the conduct constituting the crime is of a
person any act involving physical conduct trivial nature.’ This means a harasser who
that would be regarded by a reasonable has been charged with this offence may be
person to be an indecent act”. It is acquitted of it if the Magistrate shares
worthwhile to note that physical conduct society’s attitude which trivialises sexual
is being cited as one of the elements of harassment.
indecent assault. This again falls far short
of addressing the problem of sexual CIVIL LAW
harassment as not all acts of sexual A victim of sexual harassment can elect to
harassment will amount to indecent institute civil claim for damages in delict
assault because some do not involve based on the nature of the conduct. The
physical contact. A person can be charged civil suit is meant to help the victim in
with criminal insult, a crime committed in getting financial compensation for the loss
terms of section 95 of the Code where incurred or suffered. A court of
“any person who, by words or conduct competent jurisdiction will try to restore
(a) seriously impairs the dignity of another the victim of sexual harassment to a
person or (b) seriously invades the privacy position she would have been had the
of another person”. The crime is only wrong not been committed. Civil
committed where the accused by words proceedings are different from criminal
or conduct “seriously” impairs the proceedings. The standards of proof
complainant’s dignity or “seriously” required for these proceeding are also
invades the complainant’s privacy. The different with criminal proceedings
Code does not attempt to define what requiring proof beyond reasonable doubt
constitutes serious impairment and this is while in civil proceedings it is on a
left to the courts to craft their own preponderance of probability. A victim of
definition of serious impairment. This sexual harassment can institute a civil
provides the escape hole through which claim regardless of whether the assailant
cases of sexual harassment which are has been convicted or acquitted in the
often trivialised by society, would escape criminal court. Thus, even though an
and evade scrutiny. To this end the Code alleged offender may be acquitted in a
does not offer much protection to the criminal trial, he may be held liable to pay
female students in TEIs in cases of sexual damages to the victim in a civil suit.
harassment. If anything, it trivializes the
crime of sexual harassment through It is also important to note that
section 270(1) which states that ‘subject to Zimbabwe’s courts may consider
provisions of CEDAW persuasive when
dealing with sexual harassment, but they
18
The Oxford Dictionary of Law defines it as an cannot enforce them even though
assault or battery in circumstances of indecency. Zimbabwe has ratified that Convention.
Touching or attempting to touch the genitals of
another person without their consent would
Kenya has made a major innovation in its
constitute an indecent assault. Consent is normally 2010 Constitution and has dealt with this
a defence when the victim is under the age of 16.
7
technicality by providing in its section 2(6) given an opportunity to respond to all
that any treaty or convention ratified by allegations levelled against him. In as much
Kenya shall form part of the laws of as these sections define acts of sexual
Kenya. So, through this constitutional harassment they do not cover sexual
provision issues of sexual harassment can harassment in TEIs in Zimbabwe as much
be dealt with using international human emphasis is given to the employer-
rights framework. To this end, Kenya has employee relationship. Thus, the Labour
successfully domesticated important Act falls far short of providing instances of
international conventions for the benefit sexual harassment that affects female
of the Kenyan citizens whereas in students in TEIs, in its ambit.
Zimbabwe these international conventions
and treaties need to be enacted into acts IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT A CRIMINAL
of parliament to have the force of law.19 OFFENCE
In terms of the Code, sexual harassment
LABOUR LAW is not recognised as a criminal offence
Zimbabwe enjoys a two tier labour law under sexual crimes. The society has for
system viz the Public Service Act and the long been trivialising sexual harassment to
Public Service Regulations, 2000 made in the extent that our legislature has
terms of section 31 of the Public Service followed suit by not recognising sexual
Act. In terms of the Regulations sexual harassment as a criminal offence in the
harassment is recognised as an act of Code. The failure to recognise sexual
misconduct under the first schedule. harassment as a criminal offence has been
singled out as the major contributor to
In terms of the other tier, the Labour Act the proliferation of sexual harassment
recognises sexual harassment as an unfair cases in TEIs hence the need for serious
labour practice. legal reforms to address this social
problem. Kenya is one example of an
Section 8 of the Labour Act attempts to
African country that has criminalised
define acts that constitute sexual
harassment. Under section 8(g) one sexual harassment through section 23 of
the Sexual Offences Act which states as
commits an act of unfair labour practice if
follows; “sexual conduct involves physical
he demands sexual favours as a condition
for an employment matter. Section 8(h) conduct and thus it is easy to conclude
that sexual harassment has taken place.
further states that the employer, by act or
Also, when a victim loses a tangible job
omission commits sexual harassment if
he/she engages in unwelcome sexually- related benefit if she does not comply
with the unwelcome sexual advances it
determined behaviour towards any
becomes apparent that sexual harassment
employee, whether verbal or otherwise,
has taken place.” Another example is that
such as making physical contact or
of France whose Penal Code describes
advances, sexually coloured remarks, or
displaying pornographic materials in the sexual harassment as “The fact of harassing
anyone using orders, threats or constraint, to
workplace. The alleged harasser should be
obtain favors of a sexual nature, by a person
abusing the authority that functions confer on
19
Section 327(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe
8
him...”20 and goes further to punish the act receive counselling as well as give
by stating that “harassment of another evidence in an environment that is
person for the purpose of obtaining favours of friendly to them;
e) The courts which preside over these
a sexual nature is punished by one year’s
cases are staffed by personnel who are
imprisonment and a fine of $15 000, 00”21. formally trained
Although criminalising sexual harassment in the handling of cases of a sexual
in Zimbabwe will not be panacea to the nature.
perennial challenge of sexual harassment it f) In delivering judgements the courts
will be a step in the positive direction and are also not subject to the direction
a paradigm shift from the current situation or control of any person or authority
g) More importantly the punishment
in which the issue has been trivialised.
imposed for offences of a sexual
nature usually have a strong deterrent
CRIMINALIZING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN
effect on the offender. It is only after
ZIMBABWE
someone has been sent to jail for
Recent studies22 have shown that cases of sexual harassment that people will
sexual harassment are not reported begin to appreciate the serious nature
of the offence.
because there is a lack of faith in the way
h) The other advantage of making sexual
the disciplinary cases are handled. This is harassment a criminal offence is that
coupled with the fact that there are the victim will have a lawyer to
adverse consequences associated with present her case in the form of a
reporting. Victimisation is one such prosecutor. The prosecutor is there
example. In terms of the study the to present the victim’s version of
following are the advantages associated events and at the same time protect
the victim from hostile accused
with criminalising sexual harassment;
persons or their defence lawyers. In
a) Women will be able to make reports disciplinary cases, it is the harasser
at any police station throughout the who will be entitled to legal
country representation. The victim simply
b) The matter will be handled by the must narrate her ordeal without any
victim friendly unit who have female legal assistance.
members at every front desk of police
stations; INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
c) Investigations will be independently INSTRUMENTS
and professionally carried out by the
police. Women seem to repose a lot Zimbabwe, as a member of the
of confidence in the way police community of nations called the United
conduct their investigations. Nations, has ratified several international
d) Victims of sexual harassment will have covenants and treaties to date. However,
access to victim friendly facilities. They unlike in other jurisdictions where such
will
treaties and conventions find direct
application or automatically become part
of municipal law, the Zimbabwean
20
The French Penal Code Article 222-33
21
ibid jurisdiction has barred this through
22
Chimombe M, Should Sexual Harassment be
Criminalised: A Study of Selected Public
Department in Harare, Zimbabwe
9
section 327 (2)(a) and (b) of the Furthermore, section 46 of the
Constitution23 which states as follows: Zimbabwean Constitution on the
interpretation of chapter 4 of the same
An international treaty which has been Constitution seems to be directing every
concluded or executed by the President or court, tribunal, forum or body in
under the President’s authority;-(a) does not Zimbabwe to take into account
bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by international law and all treaties and
Parliament and (b) does not form part of the conventions to which Zimbabwe is a part.
law of Zimbabwe unless it has been All this would have had more weight and
incorporated into the law through an Act of become mandatory if Zimbabwe had a
Parliament. clause that automatically domesticates all
By comparison, the Kenyan Constitution international treaties and conventions. As
of 2010 states explicitly through section it is at the moment there should be a
2(6) that any treaty or convention ratified process of domestication of these treaties
by Kenya shall form part of the laws of and conventions, something that takes
Kenya. In this way, it means that issues of time and resources before we can benefit
sexual harassment can be dealt with using from well-developed laws on sexual
the international human rights framework. harassment found in international human
In most cases one will find that rights treaties.
municipal 24 laws of a country do not
adequately cover the issue of sexual CONVENTION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF
harassment or at most it is trivialised and ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST
WOMEN
Zimbabwe is a shining example. If the
Zimbabwean Constitution had a clause In its preamble CEDAW 26 , ratified by
like section 2(6) of the Kenyan Zimbabwe states as follows;
Constitution of 2010 it was going to
“Recalling that discrimination against women
effectively apply its own section 327(6) 25
violates the principles of equality of rights and
which states that;
respect for human dignity, is an obstacle to
When interpreting legislation, every court and the participation of women, on equal terms
tribunal must adopt any reasonable with men, in the political, social, economic
interpretation of the legislation that is and cultural life of their countries, hampers
consistent with any international convention, the growth of the prosperity of society and
treaty or agreement which is binding on the family and makes more difficult the full
Zimbabwe, in preference to an alternative development of the potentialities of women in
interpretation inconsistent with that the service of their countries and of
convention, treaty or agreement. humanity,”

23
Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 20) 26
Was Adopted and opened for signature,
Act 2013 ratification and accession by UN General Assembly
24
The Domestic laws in a country i.e. Acts of
resolution 34/180 of 18 December 1979 and
parliament and by-laws entered into force on 3 September 1981, in
25
Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013) accordance with article 27(1)
10
In terms of Article 10 all state parties are The import of the SADC Protocol on
mandated to take all appropriate Gender and Development is enshrined
measures to eliminate discrimination under its founding objectives and of
against women in order to ensure to particular importance is article 3(b) which
them equal rights with men in the field of states as follows;
education and in particular to ensure, on a
To harmonise the implementation of the
basis of equality of men and women: (a)
various instruments to which SADC Member
The same conditions for career and
States have subscribed to at the regional,
vocational guidance, for access to studies
continental and international levels on gender
and for the achievement of diplomas in
equality and equity which, amongst others,
educational establishments of all
are the Convention on all forms of
categories in rural as well as in urban
Discrimination Against Women (1979);
areas; this equality shall be ensured in pre-
Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989);
school, general, technical, professional and
the International Conference on Population
higher technical education, as well as in all
and Development (1994); the Beijing
types of vocational training;
Declaration and its Platform for Action
In addition, Article 11 (1) b of CEDAW (1995) the SADC Declaration on Gender and
state parties are obliged to ‘take all Development (1997) and its Addendum
appropriate measures to eliminate (1998); the Millennium Development Goals
discrimination against women in the field of (2000) the UN Security Council Resolution
employment in order to ensure, on a basis of 1325 of Women, Peace and Security (2000);
equality of men and women, the same rights, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human
in particular the right to the same Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in
employment opportunities, including the Africa (2003); the United Nations Convention
application of the same criteria for selection on the Rights of People with Disabilities
in matters of employment.’ (2008); or any other legal instruments that
may be relevant to this Protocol, in order to
To effectively and successfully eliminate all accelerate implementation:
forms of discrimination against women
requires member states like Zimbabwe to Article 22 of the Protocol sets 2015 as
enact legislation that deals with the the deadline by which member states
challenge of sexual harassment in TEIs and should have achieved the following in their
at workplaces. As alluded supra 27 respective states;
Zimbabwe should criminalize sexual
‘…enact legislative provisions, and adopt and
harassment as a way of curbing this social
implement policies, strategies, and
ill that disrupts proper learning in TEIs in
programmes which define and prohibit sexual
the country.
harassment in all spheres, and provide
deterrent sanctions for perpetrators of sexual
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEV ELOPMENT
COMMUNITY PROTOCOL ON GENDER
harassment.’ ‘State Parties shall ensure equal
DEVELOPMENT representation of women and men in
adjudicating bodies hearing sexual
harassment cases’.
27
Above
11
This is prima facie28 proof that the issue of sanctions against the perpetrators of such
sexual harassment is therefore well practices and (d) provide access to
covered at the international and regional counselling and rehabilitation services to
level and what is left is for state parties women who suffer abuses and sexual
like Zimbabwe to give sound legal effect harassment.
to the provisions of the instruments.
When a State Party is directed to take all
Zimbabwe as a state party to the said
appropriate measures to protect the girl
international instruments is found wanting
child from all forms of abuse which
when it comes to adopting and enacting
includes sexual harassment one would
legislation and other measures to combat
expect that by now Zimbabwe should
sexual harassment. The most unfortunate
have taken considerable steps in bringing
scenario which will surely persist in the
up legal instruments to protect women.
absence of the above is the trivialisation of
For instance, our criminal code should by
the crime of sexual harassment and the
now be reflecting the urgent need to
unabated harassment of female students in
protect the girl child and women in
TEIs in the country. We have gone past
general from the abuses such as sexual
the deadline that has been set by the
harassment that have been articulated in
Protocol on Gender and Development.
the regional and international instruments.
Implementation, monitoring and
In terms of monitoring and evaluation
evaluation of the Protocol on Gender and
Article 26 of the Protocol states as
Development is done in terms of Article
follows;
35. Article 35(2) mandates State Parties to
ensure that national action plans, with States Parties shall ensure the
measureable time frames, are put in place implementation of this Protocol at national
and at national and regional monitoring level, and in their periodic reports submitted
and evaluation mechanisms are developed in accordance with Article 62 of the African
and implemented. Charter, indicate the legislative and other
measures undertaken for the full realisation
THE PROTOCOL TO THE AFRICAN CHARTER of the rights herein recognised.
The Protocol to the African Charter on
Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights BEIJING PLATFORM FOR ACTION
of Women in Africa 29 through Article The Beijing Declaration and Platform for
12(1)(c) and (d) directs all State Parties to Action 30 is a global call to action and a
take all appropriate measures to protect reflection of the issues and concerns of
women, especially the girl child from all the world’s women at the end of the 20th
forms of abuse including sexual century. The Beijing Declaration seeks to
harassment in schools and other advance the goals of equality,
educational institutions and provide for development and peace for all women.
The Platform is not a binding treaty.
There is no enforcement mechanism and
28
Proof at face value. At first appearance, on the
face of things.
29
Adopted by the 2nd Ordinary Session of the 30
This Declaration was done in September 1995 in
Assembly of the Union on July 11, 2003 in Maputo. Beijing
12
it also does not provide a mechanism for • Provide well-funded shelters for
redress of wrongs. women and girls subjected to violence,
as well as counselling, legal aid, and
The Platform however succeeded in
medical assistance.
coming up with 12 Critical Areas of
Concern that need to be addressed in • Organize and fund information
order to achieve political, social, campaigns and educational programs to
economic, cultural and environmental teach everyone about the personally and
security among all people. Violence against socially detrimental effects of violence
women is one of those areas that the and about how to communicate without
Platform dealt with and governments violence.
represented 31 there agreed to do the
following; • Eliminate sexual harassment.

• Condemn violence against women It is important to note that Zimbabwe has
and refrain from invoking custom or been very slow in implementing these
religion to avoid obligations under the action points that it agreed to do within 5
Declaration on the Elimination of years of the Beijing Declaration of 1995.
Violence against Women. Within the realm of enacting legislation
meant to punish perpetrators of practices
• Punish and redress the wrongs done and acts of violence against women we
to women, whether in the home or now have the Domestic Violence Act that
society. was passed well after the stipulated 5-year
time limit. We still need more legislative
• Enact and enforce legislation against
reforms to attend to the other action
perpetrators of practices and acts of points from the Beijing Declaration but
violence against women. there seems to be some gross absence of
• Educate about equality between men the political will to do so.
and women and violence as a human
rights violation. UNITED NATIONS DECLA RATION ON THE
ELIMINATION OF VIOLEN CE AGAINST
32
• Train judicial, legal, police, and health WOMEN
personnel. This is a resolution of the UNGA passed
in December 1993. The resolution is a
• Implement the Women’s Treaty.
declaration to eliminate all forms of
• Support the Special Rapporteur on violence against women in the world. For
Violence Against Women. the avoidance of doubt Article 2 of the
Governments, NGOs, educational Declaration defines what violence against
institutions, and private enterprises women entails. Article 2 states that;
should:

31 32
The Zimbabwean Government was represented Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution
and participated at the Platform. 48/104 of 20 December 1993
13
Violence against women shall be understood organizations world-wide in raising awareness
to encompass, but not be limited to, the and alleviating the problem of violence
following: against women; and facilitate and enhance
the work of the women's movement and non-
(a) Physical, sexual and psychological violence governmental organizations and cooperate
occurring in the family, including battering, with them at local, national and regional
sexual abuse of female children in the levels;”34
household, dowry-related violence, marital
rape, female genital mutilation and other This Declaration is yet another indication
traditional practices harmful to women, non- that a lot has been done at regional and
spousal violence and violence related to international level to attend to the
exploitation; challenge of sexual harassment and the
violence against women in general but
(b) Physical, sexual and psychological violence there has been some stagnation at
occurring within the general community, national level by member states to adhere
including rape, sexual abuse, sexual to these regional and international treaties
harassment and intimidation at work, in and conventions. There is no reasonable
educational institutions and elsewhere, justification for this failure by State Parties
trafficking in women and forced prostitution; to implement these recommendations. It’s
(c) Physical, sexual and psychological violence not an issue of availability of resources but
perpetrated or condoned by the State, availability of the much needed political
wherever it occurs. will to do it.

To achieve the elimination of violence PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING SEXUAL
against women State parties have been HARASSMENT CASES
encouraged to “Develop penal, civil, labour Reference has been made supra on the
and administrative sanctions in domestic advantages of criminalising sexual
legislation to punish and redress the wrongs harassment in the country and the most
caused to women who are subjected to unfortunate scenario is that there have
violence; women who are subjected to not been sufficient legislative reforms to
violence should be provided with access to the the point of enacting legislation to that
mechanisms of justice and, as provided for by effect. When sexual harassment is made
national legislation, to just and effective an offence i.e. criminalised the procedure
remedies for the harm that they have for reporting such cases becomes less
suffered; States should also inform women of beaurocratic and hectic. It brings in law
their rights in seeking redress through such enforcement agents and people who are
mechanisms;”33 trained in investigation and impartial
handling of such cases. At regional and
Member States are further mandated to
international level there has been
“Recognize the important role of the women's
recommendations for Member States to
movement and non-governmental
come up with all measures at their

33 34
Article 4(d) UN Declaration on the Elimination of Article 4 (o) and (p) UN Declaration on the
Violence against Women Elimination of Violence against Women
14
disposal to punish acts of violence against The policy statement should be issued
women. The reason why sexual every year by college and university
harassment has been trivialised is precisely authorities and be displayed on notice
because it is not a criminal offence in boards. There should be mandatory
terms of the Code. The trivialization of training sessions on sexual harassment for
sexual harassment has cascaded to faculty, staff and students every year. TEIs
Zimbabwe’s TEIs, where all most all the should enforce these policies to send a
public universities and colleges do not clear message that sexual harassment will
have sexual harassment policies. not be tolerated.

“Any attempt by colleges and universities
FORMAL COMPLAINTS ME CHANISM
to address the issue of sexual harassment
must take a holistic approach to the The formal complaints procedure should
problem. This would require more than a be displayed prominently on campuses in
general policy of sexual harassment TEIs every year and this should be done
program, but it would require the efforts by the Students Affairs Department. The
and support of the campus administration, formal complaints procedure should have
faculty, employees, and students and the the following information;
continual training of all members of the a) Behaviour and acts that constitutes
campus community, as well as a sexual harassment
procedure that encourage, not merely b) In the case of an act of sexual
allows, complaints.”35 harassment where does one report to
There should be a zero-tolerance policy and what are the other requirements
towards sexual harassment to send a clear i.e. should there be a written report
message to offenders and would be or a verbal one, what happens when
offenders in TEIs. In other words, there the person you are supposed to
must be a clear policy that include the report to is the person who has
following; harassed you?
c) How false complaints will be handled
a) A legal definition of sexual by the formal complaints mechanism
harassment d) After making the report what should
b) Behaviour and acts that constitutes be done by the victim of sexual
sexual harassment harassment
c) Statement of the campus’s e) How the report of sexual harassment
responsibility in investigating and will be handled by the responsible
documenting complaints authorities and the time that will be
d) How false complaints will be dealt taken to conclude the case.
with f) Appeal mechanisms available to the
e) Identification of individuals victim if the case has not been handled
responsible for hearing complaints to the satisfaction of the victim
g) Other facilities available to the victim
of sexual harassment for example
35
Joseph J(2015), Sexual Harassment in Tertiary
Institutions: A Comparative Perspective
15
counselling services and how they can The level of the sanctions will depend on
be accessed. the gravity and extent of the harassment
h) How the formal complaints process and for purposes of legal certainty every
will guard against further victimization staff member, students and other non-
of the reporter? academic members should be aware of
the sanctions of sexual harassment. The
INFORMAL COMPLAINTS MECHANISM sanctions should have the following
There are instances when the victim characteristics;
elects to deal with the matter informally a) Act as a deterrent to offenders and
to avoid unnecessary publicity that can be would-be offenders, for purposes of
generated by making a formal report. To sending a clear message that sexual
this end there must be a two-tier harassment is not tolerated by the
complaints mechanism at each and every institution.
TEIs in the country. The onus of choosing b) It must be proportional to the act of
between the two mechanisms rests with transgression committed by the
the victim. For example, the victim of harasser
sexual harassment can be a married c) It must take into consideration the
student who does not want her marriage plight of the victim i.e. it must allow
to break down when the husband gets to the victim to explore other available
know of the alleged act of sexual options in pursuit of justice
harassment. In the event that they feel d) It should be capable of enforcement by
that the matter may be handled informally, the Responsible Authorities
then the officer or committee to which
such report is made may organise an As an example, the policy should state
informal meeting with the complainant that anyone who has been found to have
and the alleged offender so that the issue committed the act of sexual harassment
is amicably handled in their presence and on another person shall be liable to the
in confidence. following sanctions;

Any student or employee who believes a) Written warning
that he/she has been subjected to sexual b) Fine
harassment shall have the right to c) Demotion
choose whether to lodge their grievance d) Suspension/Expulsion36
formally or informally depending on the e) Dismissal
circumstances. However, if the informal
procedure fails to provide satisfactory REPORTING STRUCTURE
outcomes for the victim they may also Sexual harassment undermines the integrity
lodge a formal complaint. The informal of the academic environment. It is a
complaints mechanism should also provide
for other services such as counselling and
post-traumatic services to the victims. 36
This is in cognisance of the fact that sexual
harassment can be committed by one student on
another student hence this form of punishment
SANCTIONS AND DISCIPLINARY MEASURES
must be a deterrent to student offender and
would-be offenders
16
discriminatory practice that needs to be A clear reporting structure is of
addressed. It is also a problem that is fundamental importance at this juncture
underreported and under-researched. The because sexual harassment is not yet a
effects of sexual harassment on the victims criminal offence in terms of the Code
are profound. The challenge for all tertiary hence the need to make these internal
institution is to prevent sexual harassment remedies more effective. To this end, a
rather than manage it. These institutions clear model reporting structure should be
need to carefully define sexual harassment, derived from the following key questions;
provide explicit grievance policies, training for
a) Where does one report to
students, faculty and staff, create accessible
immediately after the act of sexual
mechanisms to report cases of sexual
harassment? What happens if the
harassment, and effectively respond to
officer responsible for handling such
incidences of sexual harassment, and punish
cases is the alleged perpetrator of the
perpetrators who are guilty of sexual
act of sexual harassment?
harassment.37

Due to the absence of friendly and b) What is the stipulated time within
which such a report is reasonably
accessible mechanisms to report cases of
expected to be lodged and concluded?
sexual harassment the problem of sexual
harassment has grown. However, because c) What evidence, if any, is required at
of underreporting and under-research the time of making the report? What
there are no statistics to corroborate this kind of information will be recorded
narrative. by the officer responsible for handling
such cases and the confidentiality
It then becomes a prerequisite for any
aspects related thereto?
policy on sexual harassment to have a
clear section on the reporting structure d) Who will be responsible for the
to create certainty to potential and actual investigation of the reported cases and
victims of sexual harassment. A clear what are the timeframes of such
reporting structure instils confidence in investigations?
the process of arresting this
discriminatory practice. Victims of sexual e) At what point will the victim of sexual
harassment end up suffering in silence for harassment can access counselling
fear of further victimization should they services and other related post-
attempt to report their cases. As traumatic services?
mentioned above, the sexual harassment
f) How is the victim of sexual
policy should be displayed prominently on
harassment protected from further
campuses every year and there should be
victimisation?
constant training of the teaching staff,
students as well as non-academic staff. g) If the victim of sexual harassment is
not satisfied with the manner in which
the matter has been handled, to whom
does she make the appeal?
37
Joseph J(2015), Sexual Harassment in Tertiary
Institutions: A Comparative Perspective
17
IMPLEMENTATION OF TH E POLICY elimination of sexual harassment. 41 It also
means starting a public discussion on how
This policy is a reminder (and a call to
sexual harassment can be criminalised as a
duty) to the Government of Zimbabwe
way of sending a clear message to the
that not much has been done to date in
community and the offenders that it is not
terms of implementing and adhering to
a trivial issue. The public should begin to
the regional and international instruments
appreciate the advantages of criminalising
on sexual harassment to which Zimbabwe
sexual harassment as has been mentioned
is a party.38In addition this policy is also a
in recent studies.
clarion call to all TEIs in the country that
do not have sexual harassment policies as This policy document should also be
has been discovered by the FSNT in one viewed within the context and framework
of their surveys. 39 The FSNT takes this of moving towards complying with the
document as the launch pad for some regional and international instruments,
serious dialogue with TEIs, policy makers treaties and conventions mentioned
and the relevant ministry on the issue of above. It is no longer a matter of having a
sexual harassment.40 sexual harassment policy in place but it’s
now more about adhering to and being
Implementation of this policy means that
bound by that policy as we move towards
from now onwards there should be clear
eliminating sexual harassment. This is a
program of action in TEIs in the country
call to the government and TEIs to put in
on how the scourge of sexual harassment
place the necessary infrastructure and
will be addressed, the opening up of a
create an enabling environment for the
public discussion on the subject and the
policy on sexual harassment to be
drawing of a road map towards the
effective.

38
Zimbabwe is a party to a number of regional and IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK
international instruments, treaties and covenants The Government of Zimbabwe, policy
addressing the issue of sexual harassment and
providing a clear program of action to state makers, TEIs and organisations
parties. Refer to section 4.0 on International representing female students and women
Human Rights Instruments in general should come together and
produce a framework that will address
39
The National baseline survey commissioned and
conducted by the FSNT in 2015 has revealed
chilling statistics on sexual harassment, for
the following issues;
example the fact that of the 21 institutions
covered by the survey only 4 had a sexual a) A concise road map depicting how the
harassment policy in place. The absence of sexual issue of sexual harassment will be
harassment policies in TEIs in the country addressed and a baseline report on
relegates the issue of sexual harassment to a social
misdemeanour that is not worth any form of
how far the government has gone in
control or let alone a serious discussion. implementing action points on sexual
harassment as agreed to in the
40
The FSNT has on numerous occasions been regional and international conventions
asked to share their own copy of the sexual
harassment policy every time they raised the issue
41
of sexual harassment in TEIs and the absence of a As agreed at the Beijing Declaration and
policy to curb the increase in related to that. Platform for Action (September 1995)
18
accessed to and ratified by the achieved for purposes of monitoring
Government of Zimbabwe. and evaluation by the civil society.
b) Researched data from the civil society f) The road map mentioned under (a)
organisations representing female should also have a detailed plan on the
students and women in general need to criminalize sexual harassment
complete with updated figures and in light of the numerous advantages
statistics depicting the extent of the associated with that.
problem of sexual harassment in TEIs
in the country.42 STAKEHOLDER BUY-IN
c) An acknowledgement by the For any policy to be effective there must
government that not much has been be stakeholder buy-in. In coming up with a
done to address the problem of sexual proper sexual harassment policy the
harassment in the TEIs and the setting following stakeholders should be
up of a framework to address the consulted for input;
problem.
d) A call by the government through the a) The students – in most cases female
relevant ministry compelling all TEIs in students are the victims of sexual
the country to come up with sexual harassment usually perpetrated by
harassment policies within a stipulated lecturers and their fellow male
time frame. This call should be students. However, there are also
accompanied by a strong statement of instances when female students trigger
what the government will do to situations of sexual harassment and
enforce the call. cry victim.44
e) A call by organisations representing b) University and College Lecturers- in
female students and women in general most of the studies and researches on
to the government of Zimbabwe to sexual harassment these have been
domesticate 43 all regional and singled out as the perpetrators of the
international treaties and conventions crime of sexual harassment.
on the rights of women in light of c) University and College Authorities-
section 327 (2)(a) and (b) of the every college or university has got a
Constitution of Zimbabwe. The governing body responsible for the
government should provide clear smooth running of these institutions.
timeframes within which this will be These governing bodies have a role to
play when it comes to the

44
42
As mentioned in recent studies quoted above
Sexual harassment is a field that has been
(According to Imonikhe, Idogho and Aluede (2011),
under-researched and underreported in the there are female students who can push
country and worldwide.
themselves to sexual harassment by seducing male
43
The process of making the international treaties tutors or lecturers to assist them to write their
and conventions enforceable under Zimbabwean examination or be awarded unwarranted grades in
law. At the present moment section 327 of the the examination. Through seductive behaviour,
Constitution bars automatic application and female students may insist requests for dinner,
enforcement of the international treaties until drinks or dates, persistent excuses when they have
they are enacted into our law through acts of missed deadlines for submission of assignments,
parliament. phone calls and other invitations (Finn, 2004))
19
implementation of policies and in TEIs in the country and the
procedures. Their involvement from effectiveness of the policies adopted.
drafting and implementation of the
Monitoring, reporting and Evaluation is a
sexual harassment policy is key and of
fundamental importance. key component of every project design
and implementation. The M&E plan will
To this end, these stakeholders should
come together for coming up with an provide information that will enable
effective sexual harassment policy. The systematic tracking of the progress and
FSNT, through lobbying and advocacy will
will help inform programme decision on
appeal to the above-mentioned
stakeholders at institution level in its push implementation. Thus, the M&E plan will.
for the adoption of sexual harassment
policies. • Assess program progress and
achievement of objectives
STAKEHOLDER ADOPTION OF THE POLICY
• Provide data and information for
The FSNT intends to lobby the relevant
decision making, reporting and
parliamentary portfolio committee,
ministry and the government for the accountability
adoption of sexual harassment policies in • Identify challenges and provide
the country’s TEIs. The policy should
possible corrective measures
adhere to action points found in regional
and international human rights • Track the implementation of the
instruments pertaining to sexual program and establish performance
harassment and the rights of women in
against set targets
general. The government should provide a
broad policy thrust to create an enabling
THE MONITORING AND EVALUATION
environment to address sexual FRAMEWORK
harassment.
The FSNT, through their M & E Officer
will design a monitoring and evaluation
framework to be used in assessing the
MONITORING, REPORTIN G AND results and progress recorded. To this
EVALUATION end there will be regular monitoring and
There will be constant monitoring, evaluation of the broad areas identified
below as the FSNT pushes for the
reporting and evaluation by the FSNT on;
adoption of sexual harassment and its
the adoption of sexual harassment policies total elimination in TEIs in Zimbabwe.
in TEIs in Zimbabwe, handling of cases of
REPORTS ON PROGRESS
sexual harassment by these institutions,
There shall be periodic reports of
yearly comparative schedules of such progress in terms of the following broad
cases, statistics of sexual harassment cases issues;

20
a) The domestication of regional and Criminal Law (Codification and
international human rights Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 there is
45
instruments that have been accessed hope that the legislature will make
to and ratified by the Government of sexual harassment a criminal offence
Zimbabwe in line with section 327 of in line with other jurisdictions in
the Constitution. Domestication will Africa and the world.46
allow the judiciary to rely on these
regional and international instruments UPDATING THE POLICY
when dealing with cases of sexual The FSNT will constantly update this
harassment in our courts in line with policy in light of national, regional and
section 327(6) of the Constitution international developments on the subject
which states; covered. Furthermore, this will also be
informed by progress in the fight against
When interpreting legislation, every court and
sexual harassment in the country.
tribunal must adopt any reasonable
interpretation of the legislation that is TRAINING MODULE FOR HANDLING CASES
consistent with any international convention, OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
treaty or agreement which is binding on
Zimbabwe, in preference to an alternative Article 4 (o) and (p) of the UNGA
interpretation inconsistent with that Declaration on the elimination of all forms
convention, treaty or agreement. of violence against women in the world
has made a call to all member states to
b) The adoption of sexual harassment “Recognize the important role of the women's
policies by TEIs in the country in movement and non-governmental
light of the findings of the baseline organizations world-wide in raising awareness
survey which showed that very few and alleviating the problem of violence
TEIs in Zimbabwe have effective and against women; and facilitate and enhance
functional sexual harassment the work of the women's movement and non-
policies. governmental organizations and cooperate
c) The criminalization of sexual with them at local, national and regional
harassment as well as its total levels” 47 It is within the realm of this
elimination. As the codification of context that the FSNT will come with a
criminal law continues under the training module to be used in TEIs in
Zimbabwe on the following key areas of
45
sexual harassment; ABC of sexual
Convention on all forms of Discrimination
Against Women (1979); Convention on the Rights harassment, forms of sexual harassment,
of the Child (1989); the International Conference
on Population and Development (1994); the Beijing
Declaration and its Platform for Action (1995) the 46
SADC Declaration on Gender and Development The FSNT will take advantage of its sound
relationship with the policy makers to push for the
(1997) and its Addendum (1998); the Millennium
Development Goals (2000) the UN Security Council criminalization of sexual harassment by adding it
Resolution 1325 of Women, Peace and Security to the Code. In other jurisdictions for example
France sexual harassment is now a criminal
(2000); the Protocol to the African Charter on
offence
Human Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in
47
Africa (2003); the United Nations Convention on UN General Assembly resolution 48/104 of 20
the Rights of People with Disabilities (2008); December 1993
21
reporting mechanisms, disciplinary
procedures, counselling and psychosocial
support centres for victims etc. This
module is meant to equip university and
college authorities and improve their
capacity of handling such cases.48

48
As an under-reported and under-researched
area there is not much of information in the field
of sexual harassment.
22
1
1