THE Zimbabwe Gender Commission in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) this week launched a training manual meant to address gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual harassment in the workplace.

The launch event was attended by representatives from multiple civil society and government organisations.

ILO officer-in-charge Anna-Marie Kiaga said the manual was important in the fight to stop violence and sexual harassment in workplaces.

“The ILO pursues a vision based on the premises that universal and lasting peace can be established only, if it is based on social justice and regards gender-based violence and harassment as a violation of social justice.

“The strategy is a tool to guide operations of the public and private sector organisations in fighting against gender-based violence and sexual harassment at the workplace,” Kiaga said.

“The manual will facilitate wide-spread training to raise awareness, train workplace gender champions, and facilitate the general scaling-up of the response to SGBV [sexual and gender-based violence] by tripartite plus stakeholders, maintaining the quality and standards at national, sectoral, or enterprise levels.”

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Sustainable Development Goal number five emphasises how gender bias destroys social cohesion and devalues everyone because it not only violates human rights but also significantly underutilises human potential worldwide.

The development strategy is aiming to eliminate sexual harassment and gender-based violence by 2025.

Fiona Magaya, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) gender specialist and head of education, said Zimbabwe was constrained by power imbalances in the workplace, political and economic violence.

“The issue of SGBV is a critical issue of concern to the ZCTU and let me assure you of our commitment to the labour movement regarding running a campaign and collaborating with all stakeholders to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work.

The ZCTU has already been involved in awareness, education, training of gender champions, GBV focal persons, under the Spotlight Initiative since the launch of the GBV campaign in 2015,” she said.