Hivos response to sexual harassment allegations within Ushahidi

August 1, 2017

In response to the recent allegations regarding sexual harassment at Ushahidi, Hivos adds its voice to all parties involved to take a firm stand in this matter and show zero tolerance for all forms of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Hivos believes in work environments that are safe, where staff feel valued and contribute without fear of threats or intimidation. As an organisation whose core values are centred on humanity, Hivos places a very high premium on ensuring all staff regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, nationality, origin and religion are free from any form of discrimination, harassment or assault. In addition to this, we believe partners such as Ushahidi share these common values that contribute to our partnership.

Central in this unfortunate incident is a victim who has been bold enough to speak out against sexual harassment and disclose this form of gender discrimination. Sexual harassment should never be considered as an accepted occupational hazard, but an unacceptable behaviour. The step she took to lodge a complaint was an evident human rights duty to not condone or ignore a violation of her human rights after it had happened.

We welcome the correct move by the Ushahidi Board of Directors in summarily dismissing the Ushahidi Director, announced in their recent public statement. We would like to further urge the Board, in accordance with its principles, to take serious steps toward guaranteeing a workplace devoid of sexual harassment, which would put an end to such misogynistic behaviour and prevent it from re-occurring.

Ultimately, the responsibility of maintaining an environment free from any forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment, sits with the board, which should strive to mainstream this in the organisational culture.