Malawi: Firm to Conduct Sexual Harassment Awareness Elearning Training

31 August 2021

Transform 2 Excel has disclosed that it will conduct a light market survey in some of the large organizations in Malawi to establish the extent and seriousness of sexual harassment in the country.

The training follows the unprecedented number of sexual offences the country has registered over the years.

Earlier this year, the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) released a report from the investigations it had conducted regarding alleged sexual harassment issues at the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). The report concluded that the former Director General for MBC had sexually harassed the women and abused his office.

On 12 August 2021, a statement was released in which it was reported that MBC had agreed to pay the women a settlement of 48.8 Million Malawi Kwacha.

There have been reports of sexual harassment and abuse of women in the tea plantations in Malawi.

A British law firm Leigh Day has represented women from two tea estate plantations in two separate cases.

The first case in which 36 women were represented was settled out of court in February 2021.

The settlement included compensation, as well as initiatives to improve safety for female employees, training programmes and improvements to community facilities. In the second case, a hearing was set for June 29, 2021 to determine the matters from both sides.

According to Leigh Day lawyers who represent the women claimants say there is still a systemic problem of male workers at plantations abusing their positions of power in relation to the women working under their supervision with rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual coercion and discriminatory behaviour. The claimants, among the poorest in the world, often submit to the sexual harassment for fear of losing their employment.

In another case involving one brave woman against the large construction company Mota Engil a landmark ruling was made.

This landmark sexual harassment ruling sets a precedent under which companies will face aggravated damages if they fail to establish an efficient system to stop workplace sexual harassment.

The ruling also establishes that the target of the harassment may claim successfully even where there is no 'physical' injury which is very important since psychological damage and trauma in such a case is much more likely to be experienced than physical injury.

In a recent survey conducted by the firm, out of the 20 organizations that participated, almost all of them had a Sexual Harassment Policy in place, but only one offered awareness training to its employees during the new recruit onboarding process.

Transform 2 Excel's Chief Learning Officer, Mary Chokani Mphonda, said based on this information, they decided to design a Sexual Harassment Awareness training tailored to the laws in Malawi to help individuals identify, prevent, and remove sexual harassment from the workplace; create a positive work environment; and also save time, money, and prevent damages to your organizational reputation resulting from potential sexual harassment lawsuits.

Mphonda said the training is also aimed at helping individuals identify, prevent, and remove sexual harassment from the workplace; create a positive work environment; and also save time, money, and prevent damages to your organizational reputation resulting from potential sexual harassment lawsuits.

"Sexual Harassment Awareness eLearning Training is a collaborative effort between the teams from Transform 2 Excel - London, Johnny Willz Creative Media Solutions - Blantyre, Your Image by A.D. Henson - Blantyre and EDM Instructional Design Firm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

"The training. which has been designed and developed in an eLearning format will be delivered through Transform 2 Excel's Learning Management System (LMS)," she explained.

She added that by delivering the training online through their LMS, they will help organisations roll out the training to a lot of employees at the one time and that participants will be able to conveniently complete the training from a computer or mobile device.

The training will be launched on October 1, 2021, and it is suitable for all industries, according to her.

Mphonda said upon completion of the training, employees will receive digital certificates and organisations that have successfully trained all their employees will receive digital badges, which can be displayed on their websites or social media sites.

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