While making his Budget Debate contribution in the House of Assembly on 24 March, First District Representative and Opposition Member, Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that he has received complaints of sexual harassment from persons who work in various areas of Government and demanded that the perpetrators stop tormenting civil servants.
In recounting the reports Hon. Fahie told the House: “I get these reports from even the Police Force, and statutory bodies.” “Some of them they want to fire them…they don’t want to give them increments, don’t want to give them money if they don’t give them honey…They ain’t deal with the right woman yet. None that I spoke to are from East End or West End,” the Opposition member said as he stated that the situation needs attention.
Hon. Fahie explained that the sexual harassment practice of some senior Governmental workers is affecting the morale of some members of the service: “A few of them told me… that there are some persons, more than one in the senior positions in government that have made some sexual advances at them.”
“They have informed me, and when I asked them if they made a report, come let us make one, they have informed me that most of them have not made a report. They have also informed me that because some of them feel that they are closely knitted to the current government, nothing is going to come out of it, based on some of the questions that they were asked at the start up,” Hon. Fahie announced.
The Legislator told the House that some of the harassed employees have tried to report the matter, but were treated worst that the perpetrator: “This is a tough one for me to deal with because I have been trying to talk to them to go certain places, and I have listened to somebody make a complaint at the highest level and it went n where.”
“I was sitting there when somebody made a complaint against somebody at the highest level and the person who made the complaint had to answer more questions, more than the person who was trying to get to the young lady,” he added.
Hon. Fahie alleged that the persons harassed are being told that they will not be eligible for promotion if they do not give in: “And they tell me that they cannot make it to the front of the public service because they are not giving up ‘their front’ so they can’t make it to the front.”
The Opposition Member said that men are also being harassed, but he will deal with their complaints later: “I didn’t want to say that part because it has some men who start to come to me with the same complaints, but I will leave that for now. I told them go to the weight room and get stronger and defend yourself…They have their rights…for now I will stick with the women to help them.”
Hon. Fahie ended the subject by issuing a warning to the perpetrators and insisting that they refrain from harassing the junior members of the service: “I am sounding a warning, asking first that those in senior positions keep your hands to yourself and leave the public servants who are females, let them come and do their job. Whether they are single or married, let them produce for this country, since the powers to be want to sweep everything under the rug when it comes to these things…Leave the people girl children. It is annoying me to the highest level.”