Rose Rwabuhihi, the Chief Gender Monitor in the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), has warned that sex-based corruption threatens the recruitment of competent workers and the appraisal of employees based on their performance, calling for firm action to stamp it out. She was speaking to The New Times about the need to raise awareness on gender-based violence in the workplace. Rwabuhihi said that Transparency International (Rwanda)’s survey indicated that sexual corruption at the workplace was present in both private and public sectors, indicating that when one sexually harasses a person, they [often] want sexual favours from them. On the effects of sexual corruption, she said that they include violation of human rights, observing that when one applies for a job, she/he should be judged for their competences, not sexual favours. Such a situation, she indicated, can be a breeding ground for poor job performance and lack of accountability, because a person got a job not based on competency, but on the basis of sex-based corruption (sexual favours). You understand that, in that case, even the productivity will be impaired, she said, indicating that any time the employer who recruited a worker judges his/her work through the sexual favours, poor work performance or absence at work will not be given much attention. If we continue to have a society of that kind, it means that people will be discouraged to study because sex-based corruption will ruin the recruitment process, with jobs being like a 'preserve' for those offering sexual favours,” she said, adding that the worker who got job through that path might feel insecure because of the consideration that she/he will be asked sexual favours any time. In March this year, Transparency International Rwanda (TI-RW) conducted a survey on gender-based corruption at the work place in Public, Private and civil society organisations (CSOs) to provide evidence-based findings on the magnitude of GBC in Rwanda as to inform policy makers on how to curb this malpractice at the workplace. The survey findings were presented in September. According to Transparency International, Gender Based Corruption (GBC) is considered when someone is demanding favors, such as of sexual nature, in exchange for a service. The TI-RW’s survey indicated that the most common causes of gender-based corruption in various institutions operating in Rwanda, include lack of transparent selection of employees (for capacity building, sending them on work mission), lack of transparent staff promotion, partiality in staff performance appraisal process, and lack of self-confidence. On the levels of Gender based corruption in selected institutions, the report exposed that it was at 57.2 per cent in the private sector; 42.6 per cent in Higher Learning Institutions; 37.2 per cent in Local Government; 23.1 per cent in Judicial Organs; 19.7 per cent in Ministries, and 19.3 per cent in hospitals, among others. According to the report, the majority of the gender-based corruption victims in workplaces were women – 75 percent of victims – while 25 per cent were men. Proposed solutions to the problem Rwabuhihi said that every institution or entity should have a policy to prevent any form of gender-based corruption. It should be mandatory that in any job contract, any person who will be found to have gotten a job because of that (sex-based corruption), will be dismissed along with the one who solicited it. “There should be transparency in recruitment, even though it is in the private sector, they must be accountable so that they do not recruit on the basis of sexual corruption, nepotism or any other (illegitimate) factors, because that is injustice and it is illegal,” she said. Also, she said that workers should be encouraged to report cases of sex-based corruption, and there have to be internal reporting mechanisms which are protected so that the person in question is not victimised for denouncing such cases by implicated individuals.