Hands Off Our Women: Creating Safe Workplaces
Underpinning the plight of women, is workplace discrimination and ill-treatment that often leave female workers feeling like second citizens. The Office of the Speaker notes with grave concern various reports stating the inhumane treatment of female employees at TopBet in Germiston, where female workers were reportedly strip-searched and physically fondled, following the discovery of menstrual blood in the female lavatories. Needless to say, the incident left employees feeling violated and victimized.
The Speaker of Council, Alderman Patricia Kumalo condemns the barbaric and insensitive act of harassment these female employees experienced. She said, "On a day when the world commemorates International Women's Day, female workers at TopBet have been subjected to the highest level of humiliation, violating their dignity and right to a safe work environment. Such inhumane acts cannot be tolerated during a period where women workers still suffer various levels of oppression, namely race, class, gender and sexual orientation."
Such an incident beckons a call to action by our labour movements to ensure that women in the work place are unionised and protected. Moreover, we hope to see the Department of Labour move swiftly in this regard and ensure that TopBet complies fully with the labour laws in our country.