BY: PENI KOMAISAVAI
A report launched in Fiji today has revealed that almost ten workdays per employee per year are being lost due to domestic or sexual violence.
The International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Business Case for Workplace Responses to Domestic and Sexual Violence in Fiji report includes the results of a survey of 565 employees at three Fijian companies.
It found that that 34 per cent of participants experienced domestic or sexual violence in their lifetime. Three-quarters of this group said the violence had affected their work, specifically:
- 52 per cent said their mental or physical health was impacted
- 42 per cent said the abusive person had done something to stop them from going to work or participating in work
- 29 per cent had experienced harassment while at work.
Launching the report, IFC Resident Representative Deva De Silva said gender equality was not only a social and moral imperative, but also an economic necessity.
“The prevalence of gender-based violence has a wide-ranging impact. In addition to trauma to women’s mental and physical well-being, it also bears financial costs stemming from loss of jobs or earnings,” De Silva said.
IFC Global Lead on Gender-based Violence, Shabnam Hameed said employers need to create an environment where workers are treated with dignity and respect.
“This can be done by creating awareness, because having a long list of prohibition does not help to minimise unethical practices like gossiping, harassment, sexual and gender based violence in the workplace,” Hameed said.
The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), Vision Investment Limited and a third organisation which wished to remain anonymous participated in the survey.
Similar surveys have also been conducted in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
What will stop the violence