A study conducted last year by Men Against Violence and the Women’s Rights Foundation in collaboration with Malta Community Chest Fund looking into Maltese women’s perceptions of sexual harassment at the workplace has found some worrying statistics.
The study’s authors say the results found that “a culture of victim blaming was still pervasive.”
MAV president Aleksandar Dimitrijevic also said violence was a “problem of society as a whole,” and not just one section’s problem.
While both men and women reported feeling sexually harassed at work, it was mainly women who suffered from the more violent forms of sexual assault such as rape.
1. Three in four female respondents experience sexual harassment at the workplace
This standout statistic sheds a terrible light on the Maltese workplace.
2. 27% of female respondents experienced harassment but never saw it
They said they had experienced it themselves but hadn’t seen it happen to their colleagues.
3. One in three respondents believe the victim is partially to blame
32% of male and female respondents partially blamed the victim for being sexually harassed due to their behaviour or the way the were dressed.
4. 17% of female respondents never witnessed or experienced harassment
Nearly one in five women reported feeling safe at their place of work.
5. A third of male respondents reported never experiencing or witnessing sexual harassment
Nearly one-fifth of the 600 respondents were men.
6. One third of men witnessed their colleagues being sexually harassed
And nearly a fifth of men both experienced and witnessed it.
7. Men were ostracised for ‘not being man enough’
“For instance, when men were exposed to crude sexism or pornography at work and objected to it, they were ostracised for not being ‘man enough’ or not being the ‘right kind of man’,” said Mr. Dimitrijevic.
8. Around 7% of men said they had just experienced sexual harassment and never witnessed it
Some men felt that women dressing ‘provocatively’ was a form of sexual harassment against them.
Mr. Dimitrijevic said that “More gender equality leads to less sexual harassment and other forms of violence, which is good for women, men and everyone.”
He also said that the results were similar to the prevalence of sexual harassment in other European countries.
Men Against Violence and the Women’s Rights Foundation are planning to host two workshops based on tackling sexual harassment in the workplace. One will be for employers, and the other for employees.
These workshops should help company managers come up with a policy that works for their organisation and protect its workers, as well as protect the interests of their company.