Rhodes>Harassment>What is Unfair Discrimination?

Unfair Discrimination

You should not tolerate behaviour from another individual or a group of people that:

  •   undermines your fundamental dignity, or
  •   denies you your human rights, or
  •   seeks to demean, humiliate you or create a hostile environment making it difficult for you to work or study at Rhodes

Such behavior is termed unfair discrimination and/or harassment. 

This type of behavior can take many forms, some of which can easily be identified as harassment and/or unfair discrimination while other behaviours may be more subtle and acceptable to some but not to others.

If you believe you are not being treated fairly, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • are you being treated differently because you belong to a certain group and the other person has certain ideas about this group e.g. stereotypes? For example, being required to check with your supervisor in the morning when no-one else in your team is doing so and there is no clear real reason for asking you to do this; being required to submit a sick leave for even one day’s absence when other members of the team are not required to do so and you have a good sick leave record (i.e. there is no apparent reason for the different treatment); if you are a Black student, being singled out and warned about making a noise even before you have been found guilty of such an offense.
  • are you being treated differently because you are a particular race, sex, age or belong to a certain religion or cultural group or come from a different geographical area? For example, being called a coconut;  being told to “go home, you are taking the job of a person in Grahamstown”;  being told that as a Black woman supervisor you can tell the woman what to do but not the Black men.
  • are you being treated differently because of your pregnancy status, your HIV status, your disability? For example, being told that you won’t be promoted because of our HIV status.

Prejudice refers to beliefs (isolated or systematic) which are biased against particular groups (or perceived members of those groups).  Examples of prejudice would include stereotyping and the tendency to form and hold, in the absence of sufficient evidence, false and negative beliefs about these groups. Prejudice may underlie or nurture acts of unfair discrimination and harassment, but is not an offence in itself.

Last Modified: Wed, 03 May 2017 12:13:12 SAST