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Aspects of Institutional Sexual Harassment Policies in Institutions of Higher Learning and the Private Sector and their Shortcomings in South Africa

L.D Mogorosi
T.D Thobejane
P.E Matshidze


This article probes aspects of sexual harassment policies at workplaces in South Africa. The article deals with policy orientation relating to actions and remedies that are promulgated in sexual harassment policies that have been adopted by various institutions including the private and public sectors of our economy. In broader terms, the article is concerned with policy instruments that these sectors have in place to address sexual harassment. The theory of Hegemonic masculinities is used as a lens to understand behavioural patterns exhibited by those who are alleged perpetrators of sexual harrassment. A content analysis approach was used in the process of understanding the short comings exhibited by many of these policies that are purported to stop the upsurge of sexual harassment. Researchers used Inductive reasoning as the process of developing conclusions from collected data by weaving together new information regarding sexual harassment. They also analyzed the text with an open mind to identify meaningful content that answered their research questions. The literature and the conclusive data reviewed suggest that for organizations to thrive, they should in their solutions to stop sexual harassment, have a clear and vocal support from senior institutional management personnel in both the private and public sectors of our institutions. Management should have clear procedures of handling and dealing with complaints arising from the victims of this scourge.

Key words: sexual harassment, workplace, policy, human rights, dignity, safety, wellness