Diplomat gets benefit of minister?s doubt


Date: January 1, 1970
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The article is based on the findings of the Minister of Foreign Affairs that South Africa?s ambassador to Indonesia was not guilty of sexual harassment, despite previous findings by an internal inquiry.

This article may be used in training to:
Show how gender-related issues lend themselves to good investigative reporting.
 
Trainer’s notes
This article is both a good example of thorough reporting on, and of the complexities surrounding sexual harassment. The article is based on the findings of the Minister of Foreign Affairs that South Africa’s ambassador to Indonesia was not guilty of sexual harassment, despite previous findings by an internal inquiry. The minister’s questioning of the allegations of the complainant are typical of the lack of sympathy that women get when they raise cases of sexual harassment and explain why often these issues are not brought to the fore. The fact that the minister is a woman adds another twist to the story. The writer gives all sides of the story, but through the depth of his research and body of evidence leaves us in little doubt that this is a case of injustice. The story, which won an award at the Gender and Media (GEM) summit, provides an excellent platform for exploring the power dynamics at play in cases of sexual harassment, and their effect on women in the work place.
 
Some training exercises
A useful way of understanding sexual harassment is to get participants to roll play different forms of sexual harassment, and to define for themselves what is meant by this. Participants may also be asked to share cases of sexual harassment that they are aware of, how these were handled, or how they could or should have been handled.
 
 


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