What constitutes sexual harassment is not the same thing to everyone. According to a new study, it varies by generation and country. The international charity, ActionAid, which works with girls and women in 45 countries around the world, surveyed more than 2,500 people between the ages of 14 and 21 living in the United Kingdom (UK), India, Brazil, and Kenya. Each young woman was asked when and how they first experienced harassment.
Harassment was described as unwanted behavior, including insults, catcalling, inappropriate jokes, remarks about one’s appearance, showing explicit photos either in person or online, unwanted touching, and forced kissing or hugs. About 75 percent of young women said they had to put up with negative or offensive attitudes in the past six months. About 65 percent felt a distinct and constant disadvantage to their male counterparts.
Sexual harassment does not begin in the workplace. Nearly two-thirds of UK girls and boys report that they witnessed or experienced it in their lives away from work by family members, friends, teachers, or strangers. Twelve percent of girls between the ages of 14 and 16 experience anxiety over sexual harassment every day. In Brazil, that number increased to 41 percent.
Speaking Out Against Harassment
Perhaps the best news from the study is that women in high numbers feel they have the recourse of reporting unwanted behavior to a colleague or superior. In Kenya, 64 percent of young women feel comfortable telling others, while the number raised to 74 percent in Brazil and 79 percent in India. Researchers concluded that sexual harassment is still a difficult problem in the countries surveyed. Sexual impulses run deep in human nature, and so does misogyny; the belief that women deserve no better. Combating this ancient prejudice is essential if women are to achieve equality in the workplace and society.
Misogyny in the workplace is not limited. The problem is that while voices for concern are growing, employers are not stepping up to the problem. Women are unable to obtain certain legal protection against offenses. A World Health Organization research project suggests that the number of women who suffered at the hands of their employer tops 2 million. That mentality still exists in businesses around the world. The situation is often worse than employees turning a blind eye to misogynistic acts. In some cases, lewd mistreatment of women workers is encouraged.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If you have been targeted for unwanted sexual behaviors, call the Cherry Hill employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to arrange a free case review. Our firm has the experience to press your complaint against offenders and obtain the necessary accommodations. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey.