Be Inspired

Sexual Harassment at Workplace

, ()

Worldwide, sexual harassment happens everywhere, domestically or publically. But what is sexual harassment? Do we all understand yet? Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct sexual nature that makes a person feel offended, humiliated, and/or intimidated (ilo.org)

Sexual harassment whether at school, work, etc is about the harasser abusing power over the victim because of the victim’s gender, sexual harassment is not just about sex.

According to ILO, sexual harassment comes in many forms, such as:

  1. Leering and staring,
  2. Suggestive common and jokes,
  3. Unwelcome touching, hugging or kissing,
  4. Unwanted invitations for sex, or persistant request to go on dates,
  5. Intrusive questions about another person’s private life and body,
  6. Unnecessary familiarity,
  7. Insults or taunts of a sexual nature,
  8. Sexual explicits images, posters, emails or messages,
  9. Accessing sexually explicit internet sites,
  10. Behaviour which would also be an offense under the criminal law.

What is Workplace Sexual Harassment?

There are two types of workplace sexual harassment: hostile work environment and quid pro quo.

  1. Hostile work environment, it can happen in two ways where someone at work makes you a target of sexually suggestive comments. The other form of hostile work environment is where the employers provide less favourable conditions based on gender (hiring procedures, hours, wages, promotions, work schedules and assignments, sick leaves and vacation, job evaluation and firing).
  2. Quid pro quo is sexual harassment where supervisor or manager asks or demands sexual contact from you in return of emplyoment. If you say no, but still felt pressured to have sexual contact because you were afraid of being punished or losing your job. 

What Should You Do if You are Sexually Harassed at Work?

  1. Tell your harasser to stop. If you don’t feel safe and comfortable to tell your harasser to stop, make sure you do your best to make it clear to the harasser that what they are doing is unwelcome offensive behaviour.
  2. Report it to the management. If your workplace has a sexual complaint procedure, then good, follow it. And try to make the complaint in writing, if possible have a trusted witness to be present. 
  3. Cooperate in the employer’s investigation of your complaint.

Written by: Nevy Pangestika