Definition of sexual advances

THE Sexual Harassment (Protection and Prevention) Act, 2021, which took effect on July 3, is being hailed as an important piece of legislation for ushering in concrete measures to protect the vulnerable and promote cultural change to end sexual harassment.

Here is an excerpt from Section 2 as it relates to interpretation and application of the Act, specifically the definition of "sexual advances".

"Sexual advance" includes any one or more of the following acts, forms of conduct or behaviour, namely —

(a) physical contact of a sexual nature;

(b) a demand or request for sex or for favours of a sexual nature;

(c) the making of sexual suggestions, remarks or innuendos;

(d) the showing of pornography or the display of images or objects of a sexual nature; and

(e) any other physical, gestural, verbal, non-verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

"Sexual harassment" means the making of any unwelcome sexual advance towards a person, by another person, which —

(a) is regarded as offensive or humiliating by the person towards whom the sexual advance is made;


(b) has the effect of —

(i) interfering with the work performance of the person to whom the sexual advance is made; or

(ii) creating an intimidating, offensive or a hostile work environment.

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