AU Hit By Sexual Harassment Claims

Reporter
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Sexual harassment is a major problem for women who work at the African Union Commission (AUC), an internal investigation has found according to the BBC.

The BBC quotes the report as saying most of the victims are short-term staff, youth volunteers and interns looking for jobs.

Those responsible “position themselves as ‘gate-keepers’ and ‘king-makers'”, it added.

The inquiry was launched in May and all staff members who had a complaint were invited for a confidential interview.

The special committee was formed by the AUC Chairperson, Moussa Faki, after an anonymous letter alerted him to the abuse.

The team found 44 cases of alleged sexual harassment and that young women were being “exploited for sex in exchange for jobs”.

The report did not name any of the alleged perpetrators.

Staff behind the harassment made “believable promises to young women that they will be offered contracts,” the report said.

Interviewees said reporting incidents of sexual harassment was often counterproductive as there was no process internally to do so because the AUC does not have a sexual harassment policy.

The team also found incidents of bribery, corruption, bullying, discrimination and intimidations

South Africa’s Mail & Guardian paper says the inquiry was established after it reported on a petition signed by 37 female members of AU staff complaining about sexual harassment at the commission.

The AU Commission, which has its headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, said that given the findings and serious allegations, it would establish “a comprehensive sexual harassment policy that protects the victims and takes the strongest punitive measures against any perpetrator”.

Mr. Faki would also form an internal committee to look into all the reported cases and make recommendations, a statement said.

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About Post Author

Reporter

Reuben Sei Waylaun Managing Editor A trained Liberian journalist and Administrator with over eight active years in mainstream media. He has worked with both the electronic and print media as radio producer, newscaster, reporter, News Editor, Editor-In-Chief, and Managing Editor respectively. He has a very good understanding of the Liberian media and very good working relations with media houses across the country and good at lobbying with his peers and above at all times. Reuben is a graduate of the University of Liberia with BPA in PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & MANAGEMENT with emphasis in Development Planning Administration & Public Policy. In Management, he has emphasis in Human Resource management, Small Business Management and Business law respectively
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