Sexual harassment is a pervasive issue that affects individuals across various settings, including workplaces, educational institutions and public spaces. Sexual harassment is something that many people face in their day to day life. Some are ashamed of talking about it, while others fear speaking about it. It is essential to address this problem proactively to create environments safe, respectful, and inclusive for everyone.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination that involves unwelcome verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This behavior creates a hostile environment for the victims.
There are different types of sexual harassment that happens to people’s lives in different workstations and different spaces. These are: Quid pro quo harassment, Hostile work environment, online sexual harassment, and street harassment.
Quid pro quo occurs when a person in a position of power offers rewards in exchange for sexual favors. Some bosses tend to take advantage of their employees because, they feel like this people need them in their lives for them to survive. One thing that the employees should know is that, one can always find a way to survive and by finding a good place that he or she can never be harassed by their bosses.
Hostile work environment involves an unwelcome sexual conduct that creates an intimidating environment. This may include explicit comments or gestures. This type of harassment causes one to feel so uncomfortable at their workstations.
Due to the rise of internet use accross the globe, sexual harassment has extended into the digital realm. Most of the people are body shamed while others are scolded and abused through various online platforms. This type of sexual harassment can be so traumatizing. Some might end up committing suicide while others end up in depression because of this situation.
Street harassment also occurs in public spaces and typically involves unwelcoming comments from people alongside the streets. Others may start calling you names and others just laughing at you when you pass by. These type of harassment can make you think of not being worthy of yourself and can really dimming you as a person in your status.
The impact of Sexual harassment can have profound psychological, emotional, and physical consequences on victims. They may include anxiety, diminished self-esteem and even physical health issues.
Addressing sexual harassment requires collective effort and a commitment to fostering environments and prioritizing respect, dignity and equality. Through understanding the various types of sexual harassment, we can work towards creating safe spaces for all individuals, free from the scourge of sexual harassment.
Article by Gloriah Jelimo, Intern, AMWIK.