20% women sexually harassed in workplace

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, May 4, 2011
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Nearly one in five female respondents has experienced sexual harassment at work, according to a recent survey released by Women's Watch China, a Beijing-based non-profit organization in its annual report .

The poll found some 19.8 percent of 1,837 interviewees – 37 percent men, 63 percent women – from more than 10 companies in Beijing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces had been sexual harassment victims. Another 23.9 percent revealed they had heard or witnessed sexual harassment of colleagues.

The harassment had affected as much as 40 to 60 percent of the women, it was also revealed, according to the conference record from the organization on Tuesday.

However, despite the huge number of victims, most choose to stay silent about their ordeals or leave their jobs instead of reporting them or taking legal action against their attackers. They do so because of a lack of support structures and difficulties in gathering evidence, the survey said.

Only 45.6 percent of those who were victimized took issue with their harassers and just 34.3 percent reported the person to managers. Fewer than 20 percent called police or took civil legal action.

The reason why many women who fall victim to such assaults in the real world do not report the incidents is that they worry about negative fallout from doing so, such as being the target of gossip, being forced to leave their jobs and being paid less or downgraded if their harassers are powerful within the company they work for.

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