UNAids employee sexually abused at work to speak at first ever SheDecides event

The head of the leading women’s rights movement SheDecides, Malayah Harper has called for an independent investigation into bullying and sexism within the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAids).

Harper, who worked for UNAids for more than 10 years, alleges she was sexually harassed for years and sexually assaulted in 2013 by Luiz Loures, the agency’s deputy executive director.

Harper says several current and former UNAids employees came forward and shared their own encounters.

When I talked with my sisters in the organisation who had experienced similar things, they either had cases buried or thrown out, or in one case were harassed by the person that they had reported the harassment case to.

Malayah Harper, women's rights activist and SheDecides champion

I decided to speak out because it was a sense that the system was broken, there was too much emphasis on indivual women speaking and reporting through systems whith are quite isolated and not enough prevention and support for us.

Malayah Harper, women's rights activist and SheDecides champion

She says it is important for the United Nations, to break down the abuse of power in the organisation.

You really need to have gender equality and breakdown the abuse of power within your system otherwise you can't properly work with the people you are intended to serve.

Malayah Harper, women's rights activist and SheDecides champion

Harper will speak at the first SheDecides Champions Flagship Event in Pretoria on Thursday.

Click on the link below to hear more from Harper....


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