Sexual harassment is defined as the bullying or compulsion of a sexual nature. It is the undesirable and unfit promise of rewards in reciprocation of sexual favors. Sexual harassment is illegal all around the world. According to the United States Equal Employment opportunity commission it is nefarious to harass an applicant or an employee on the basis of that person’s sex. Sexual harassment is not only simple teasing, perfunctory comments or other minor incidents. In a working place or any social gathering, harassment is considered illegal when it is much severe and frequent that it creates an unfavorable environment and results in adverse or hostile employment behaviors that can cause quitting or firing of victim’s demotion. Definition of sexual harassment varies from culture to culture. In most of the business organizations preventing employees from sexual harassment and defending workers from such charges are among the key goals of decision-making policies.
‘Sexual harassment in the workplace is all about power and authority rather than just only sex or sexual activities. Circumstances after the attack are more damaging and have very deep, intense impacts on the victim’s social circle (HerscH 2015). ‘
Sexual harassment in the working place:
In united states according to civil rights act 1964, workers or employment inequity or banned and prohibited on the basis of religion, race, color or nationality. In the beginning, high courts and laws thought only women were being harassed sexually but this act covers both men and women. In 2017 according to the result of a survey held in the U.S
’45 percent women and 15 percent men said they were sexually harassed’.
There are two types of sexual harassment when talking about in the workplace.
· Quid Pro Quo Harassment:
It includes the phenomena when in which a specific person demands sexual favors in commutation for some benefits such as a rise in salary, promotion etc. This type of harassment includes a person who is powerful than the victim.
· Hostile Work environment harassment:
It includes the unwelcome or inappropriate behavior of one employee with other. It includes commenting on an employee on the appearance of another employee, giving some sex objects, asking about the sex life or some bully jokes. It includes harassment of a co-employee by an employee. This type of harassment is more common in our society nowadays.
Example of harassment:
· In history, there was a case in which two women were being harassed by their supervisor’s.
· Hill vs Thomas was a very famous case based on sexual harassment. Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas who was s a very famous politician for sexual harassment. But the court ruled in an assistant of Thomas because the judge thought Anita’s arguments were not enough. After that Anita started her own NGO which worked for women rights. She started many campaigns in different colleges and schools. She has awakened many people against this crime.
Impacts of sexual harassment in the workplace:
Sexual harassment at working place can create a very hostile environment. It restricts the working ability of workers. It can cause financial problems, global repercussions and health problems to the victim.
· Emotional wellbeing:
Sexual harassment causes serious mental and physical problems. It can lead to the loss of self-esteem and different relations of the victim. Sexual harassment can become a reason for long-term depression which can ultimately lead to the death of a victim.
· Physical health:
Sexual harassment can effect victim mentally and physically. It can cause problems such as loss of appetite, sleep depravedness and weight fluctuations.
· Financial problems:
Most victims decide to quit their jobs because of their hostile working environment. It leads to many financial challenges. They face a lot of difficulties in finding new jobs and also ion meeting their needs.
· Global consequences:
Harassment at a working place effect not only a single person or an organization., It has an adverse effect on the overall economy of a country. As it is said:
· Every year a lot of people are being lost due to low productivity, low morale, and desertion. It has a direct impact on the overall economy of a country. An economy of the country faces many challenges due to higher insurance cost and increasing premature retirements.
· Its mean sexual harassment is not only harmful to working of an organization but it harms the overall economy of a country. When the staff of an organization will not work properly then how the organization will able to maintain its place in the business market. So sexual harassment impacts not only victim, his family or his working place but also the overall country.
Social impacts of sexual harassment:
Sexual harassment not only affect work of person but it can end social circle of the victim. The reason behind this is that victim start lacking trust on people. He or she thinks everyone around him or her is evil. The victim starts fearing meeting new people and situations. Victims behaviors changes and he or she starts taking everything negatively. Sexual harassment leads to change in the personal appearance of the victim. Victim finds it difficult to share his or her feelings with others even with his near and dear ones. People around him start pointing on victim’s character.
‘In some cases, all these things make victim very weak and he or she finds no other way than taking their life’.
Impact of sexual harassment on different groups:
Sexual harassment at working place mostly impact women and middle class. However nowadays this harassment is impacting different racial and cultural groups.
• According to a recent survey, 90 percent of women face sexual harassment at the time of interview. While 65 percent women admitted they have faced harassment at workplace.
• Now a day’s me are also facing sexual harassment because of increasing gay marriages.
• Muslims used to face racial harassment every day during their work. Their own manager’s and authorities used to comment on their appearance, skin color.
• Foreigners in America face this harassment every day that’s why most of them become mentally sick in a very short period.
It is not right to say that sexual harassment affects a specific person or group. Eve school going students both boys and girls are also facing harassment. It is a fact that sexual harassment at working place a minor problem but women consider it a very social issue that why most of them used to quit working at such place.
‘Impact of harassment are emotional not rational’.
· Aftereffects of sexual harassment:
Sexual harassment can harm a person throughout his life. It not only harms victim mentally or physically but can also cause mental torture to a person. A person can have continuous nightmares regarding such incidents. Such incidents keep haunting people throughout their life because many people find it inappropriate to share such things with others. They keep such incidents to themselves that why they become more and more harmful.
· For example, many kids are harassed during their childhood. These incidents keep frightening them until they seek treatment from consultants. Many people start taking anti-depressant pills as they find it difficult to get rid of such incidents (Xin et al.,2018).
Effects of sexual harassment on organizations:
· Increase in internal conflicts among members
· Low productivity (Mukosi, et al.,2015).
· Less job satisfaction
· More absenteeism by different staff members because of harassment
· Expertise resignation to avoid such attitude which will affect the overall place of the organization in the business market
· Increase in healthcare and sick pay cost because of health causing consequences of harassment
· If such conflicts are not resolved than the whole company will suffer
· A company will have to face legal cost if issues are taken to court by victims
Laws and policies:
There are many policies of the government of different countries which are trying to prevent such harassment. Different countries have their own policies and definitions of sexual harassment. Many NGOs are working for the rights of women in Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women is working to overcome all such circumstances (Lippel, et al.,2016).
· California Coalition against sexual assault
· Alaska network on domestic violence and sexual assault
· Rape crisis center
· And many others are working just for the rights of such Victims in the U.S. There are many policies which educate people what harassment really is. In underdeveloped countries such as Pakistan, many NGO’S are working because sexual harassment leads to Rape cases. Now social media is the main source of awareness. Many campaigns start from there. People used to educate themselves and others on such platform by making different websites and Facebook pages.
· Google Event Community Guidelines and Anti-Harassment Policy is very common now a day. It provides information regarding such incidents regardless of gender identity and racial or cultural groups. It ensures that harassment is not acceptable in any case. These kinds of policies encourage those who have suffered from any of such cases.
· Different TV commercials are also educating children from the very beginning regarding such acts. Knorr is a very famous brand of Unilever. Its add give children a lesson that they should avoid touching of others at inappropriate body parts. It aware them that they should not talk to strangers and they should not take any eatables from strangers.
It is a fact that different countries are trying their best to stop such acts. But still, there is a need to uproot this problem. It is because such acts start from a very small scale but end by causing a massive destruction. Following points must be considered by different organizations in order to help the government in getting rid of such problems:
Making it clear and a part of the organizational policy that harassment of any kind in any way is not bearable.
Developing an anti-harassment policy by seeking help from staff, manager, representatives of the organization
Making all the staff aware of this policy
Promoting investigation and dealing with all kinds of complaints against harassment
Taking action because of the elimination of inappropriate jokes and language
All these things must be included in policies of organizations
The government should also keep an eye on working environment of all the organizations, schools and social gatherings
• There should be a friendly environment among the staff members so that they should discuss such acts without any hesitation. Organizations must have separate departments which resolve such issues.
• Originations must start some training programs for both genders to educate them regarding such issues.
In order to avoid such acts of sexual harassment it is better to prevent such acts before their happening as it is said:
“Prevention is better than cure”.
Prevention includes such type of codes as practice in which employees should be encouraged by Human Resources Department of an organization for adopting Policies against harassment. Firms should also arrange specific training sessions which will base on sexual harassment education. Different organizations should take immediate against if any such act has been taken place in their working environment. Managers of firms should keep an eye on working of every employee and if any of employee is not showing interest in his or her work, other employees should ask him or her the certain reason behind his attitude. Sexual harassment is not only related to women as it is not gender based. Men also face this problem and it is a fact than 4 out of 10 men have faced sexual harassment at least once in their life (Gillespie, et al.,2016).
Sexual harassment is not a small issue as it is said:
“This is not just only sexual harassment. In reality, it is sexual assault. Sexual harassment is complex, exquisite and highly illusory”.
In the recent years, it was among the most dangerous threats for people Because of such reasons Universal Declaration of Human Rights by United Nation has explained that people should help victims in their fight for self-esteem, respect, and dignity. All the countries should try their best to eradicate such problems as it will help in increasing the economy of the country because more productivity will lead to more earning and more development.
|Mukosi, M. M., Nyasha, M., & Faith, M. R. (2015). EFFECTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE. EVIDENCE FROM BINDURA NICKEL CORPORATION. Global Journal of Research in Business & Management, 2(2), 119-125.|
HerscH, J. (2015). Sexual harassment in the workplace. IZA World of Labor.
Lippel, K., Vézina, M., Bourbonnais, R., & Funes, A. (2016). Workplace psychological harassment: gendered exposures and implications for policy. International journal of law and psychiatry, 46, 74-87.
|Xin, J., Chen, S., Kwan, H. K., Chiu, R. K., & Yim, F. H. K. (2018). Work–family spillover and crossover effects of sexual harassment: The moderating role of work–home segmentation preference. Journal of Business Ethics, 147(3), 619-629.|
|Gillespie, G. L., Leming-Lee, T. S., Crutcher, T., & Mattei, J. (2016). Chart it to stop it: a quality improvement study to increase the reporting of workplace aggression. Journal of nursing care quality, 31(3), 254-261.|