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The Impact of Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies on Sexual Harassment Prevention in the Workplace

Blumell, L. ORCID: 0000-0003-4608-9269 & Mulupi, D. (2023). The Impact of Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies on Sexual Harassment Prevention in the Workplace. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, doi: 10.1007/s10672-023-09487-w


Despite increasing pressure to implement anti-sexual harassment policies, the issue remains largely unresolved within organizations in many countries. This mixed-methods study used a survey of 575 news professionals and an analysis of 17 anti-sexual harassment policies in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to understand the effectiveness of anti-sexual harassment policies in preventing and correcting sexual harassment in the workplace. Results show no significant differences of experienced or reported sexual harassment between organizations with or without a policy. Only 30% of participants reported their experiences with organizations responding to 42% of reported cases. The only measured significant impact of policies was found with participants who had been trained on the policy and the likelihood for their organization to act. An analysis of the policies showed they contained unclear definitions, reporting mechanisms, complaint processes, organizational communication, and monitoring. In discussing these results, we highlight how gendered norms must be considered to implement more effective anti-sexual harassment policies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Publisher Keywords: Sexual Harassment, Anti-sexual Harassment Policies, Organizational Culture, Africa, Survey, News Industry
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
SWORD Depositor:
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