Africa: Current Law and Practice concerning violence and harassment in the world of work

Worldwide, the figures for GBV are very high. In the domestic sphere, 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15 – 49 have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner within a 12-month period.

In Africa, this figure is higher – with 1 in 3 women having experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.

Gender based violence (GBV) is an expression or a symptom of deeper problems in society – that of unequal power relations between men and women, and of the ongoing endurance of patriarchal attitudes in society.

GBV happens in all areas of day-to-day life – both in private home, in public spaces, and in the world of work. It is important to deal with GBV where-ever it occurs – not only because the right to a safe environment is a human right, but also because dealing with GBV is part of the broader goal of empowering women and other marginalized groups in society, and shifting the gender power relations in society. In the world of work, GBV undermines the rights of both women and men to decent work, and to the ability to earn a living.