Survey: Many Female Workers Sexually Harassed

Survey: Many Female Workers Sexually Harassed

One in six female factory workers in a Guangzhou survey had quit their jobs to escape sexual harassment from co-workers, according to a new unofficial survey. From Didi Kirsten Tatlow of The New York Times:

Not one woman who took part in the survey by a non-governmental organization, the Sunflower Women Workers Center, said she had sought help from the state-run All-China Federation of Trade Unions or the All-China Women’s Federation, Hong Mei, the head of the center, said in a telephone interview. These groups were perceived as being ineffective, as were factory managers, she said.

“Their employers take no measures to prevent sexual harassment, communities offer no support to female victims and society as a whole lacks adequate awareness of the issue or deliberately avoids talking about it,” according to the introduction to the report on the survey, “The Sexual Harassment of Women Factory Workers in Guangzhou,” released Nov. 25.

“I wasn’t surprised by the results as it’s always been like this,” said Ms. Hong. “There are so many women facing this issue, and no one is helping them.” [Source]

70 percent of the women surveyed said they had been the subject of sexual harassment, according to the China Labor Bulletin:

About 43 percent of the respondents said they suffered in silence, while 47 percent said they actively resisted the harassment. However, nearly all respondents agreed that their employer, the trade union and the women’s federation, and even the police would be of little help in addressing the problem.

Eight of the respondents for example stated that: “The factory wouldn’t care and the police simply do not have the time for it.”

More than two thirds of interviewees said they were “disgusted” by and “detested” their harasser. Some comments included: “I want to kill that man and terminate him,” “These sick people are scumbags and psychopaths” and “I’m so scared. I cannot sleep well and I keep having nightmares. I just want to run away.” [Source]

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