8 Mar 2007

Samoa NGO calls for government action to fight sexual harassment

11:20 am on 8 March 2007

A non government organisation for abused women and children in Samoa, Mapusaga o Aiga, is calling on the Government to ensure sexual harrassment policies are in place in all Government organisations and the private sector.

The Talamua on line news service quotes the president of MOA, lawyer Maiava Visekota Peteru, as saying that implementing immediate policies will reinforce the fact that sexual harassment, bullying and intimidation in the workplace will not be tolerated in Samoa.

Maiava says it's MOA's belief that there is not one iota of the Samoan culture that condones sexual harassment.

If anything, the values and principles that repulse sexual harassment are identical to those of the fa'a-Samoa, in which women are treasured and protected.

Referring to the ombudsman report whcih found that the former CEO of the Tourism Authority had sexually harrassed two women, Maiava said MOA affirms the findings of the report

She says sexual harrassment must be taken seriously and should not be brushed aside by responsible people as just another "affair with the boss."