RWANDA: Employers Warned Against Sexual Exploitation

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Central Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Transparency Rwanda (TR) has cautioned banks and other employers to desist from asking for sexual favours from women seeking employment.

Citing a past survey conducted by TR, Francine Umurungi, in charge of Institutional Development and Advocacy in Transparency Rwanda, said most women aspiring for positions in banks suffer from sexual exploitation from the managers.

She said this, Monday, during a one-day workshop to sensitise institutional leaders to combat this type of corruption, adding that other than commercial banks, schools and health centres were also blacklisted as having this type of corruption.

She said TR was working with institutional leaders to curb gender-based sexual corruption.

"This workshop is aimed at discussing ways and means of checking the kind of corruption," she noted.

According to TR, gender based corruption is high in private institutions (58.3%), while in public institutions it stands at 51.4%.

Herbert Bizimana, the administrator of Rukara Teachers College, advised that sexual corruption be addressed earlier, saying that girls who submit to these advances when still in school, sets a very bad precedent.

He lamented that good grades were offered by some teachers in return for sexual favours, adding that schools often expel pregnant students rather than firing the staff members who impregnate them.

"This sexual extortion is a good example of gender-based corruption. We must help girls to avoid such backgrounds...that is why they give in to sex corruption later at work in banks and elsewhere," he said.

Jacqueline Kamanzi Masabo, in charge of conflict resolution in the Public Service Commission, noted that Gender-based corruption remained a relatively under-researched area.

She said it was virtually excluded from legal instruments tackling corruption.

"It is about moral degeneration...a non tangible crime that often goes without proof. The law is silent on sex crimes, which is why we rely only on its implications. Women too, should take a big part of the blame as some of them seem to enjoy the favours," she said.