Abuse of power seems to be the theme in Ghana.
My staff, my friend’s female worker, and female friends all seem convinced that men with the power to hire regularly make sex a requisite to being hired. One lady said that at some tertiary institutions admission also involves sexual quid pro quo. Apparently, high school teachers also use their position to take advantage of their students.
One of my staffers, Teresa, recounted how she was interested in working for a media company where her male friend worked. He warned her that she would need to sleep with three men — the hiring manager, the manager, and the CEO — to get the job. A female friend told me that her friend had gone for a job interview at a bank. “The job is there,” the man stated. Then with a knowing smile he explained that she would have to sleep with him to obtain it. My female friend said that, going forward, this lady may then be obligated to have sex with the man any time he wishes it.
If sexual quid pro quo is common, then it should be no surprise that hostile work environments are seemingly accepted here as well. Teresa explained that when she worked at an insurance company the boss would create situations where he would insinuate that she should have sex with him. For instance, he would ask her to come to his house to deliver an insurance policy then suggest she should do something with him.
I am appalled that these abuses are rampant in this day. But I am not shocked that this happens in Ghana. Ghanaian society entrusts tremendous freedom without accountability to those in power and the lack of opportunities for young workers makes them vulnerable to abuse.
I didn’t realize the bar was so low for being a good boss.