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Ä Objectives:
u Examine the notion of sexual harassment
u Discuss the theories and issues around
sexual harassment
u Note MOHR¶s policy governing sexual
Ä þndustrialisation and intensification of
globalisation across the globe
Ä More and more women entering the paid
work force in developing countries
Ä Majority in manufacturing and services
Ä Many in medium and low-skilled jobs
Ä þncreased reports of sexual harassment in
the work place which affect mainly women

Ä afety and health issue

Ä Just working environment
Ä Dignity at work
Ä Discrimination at work
Ä Form of gender-based violence
Ä Violation of human rights
Ä %&


Ä |''   (    



Ä       )

þ  ' 
Ä tudies conclude that women experience a
disproportionately higher rate of sh
Ä urvey figures ranging from 40% to as high as 80
% of female employees reporting sh on their jobs by
their male colleagues or supervisors (Aggarwal,
1992; Earle and Madek, 1993; þ O, 2001)
Ä urvey in UC Berkeley campus: sh experienced by
30% of undergraduate women
Ä Rate of sh among undergraduate and graduate
women was between 30 ± 53% and that of
undergraduate men was 13% (Malovich and take,
1990 cited in Ho, 2006)
þ  ' 
Ä þn Malaysia, the first survey on sh conducted) by
the Women¶s ection of the Malaysian Trades
Union Congress (MTUC) in 1987
Ä tudy reported that 11 to 90% of the female
respondents experienced sh in the workplace
Ä 1990s: a survey of 586 public administrators (422
men and 164 women) in the northern states of
Peninsular Malaysia reported that 43.4 % of the
men and 53 % of the women faced at least one
form of sh (abitha,1999)
þ  ' 
Ä 2001 study (Ng, Cecilia et al.): about 35% of the 1,483
respondents surveyed reported that they had experienced one
or more forms of sh in their place of work
Ä Higher percentage of female respondents (38%) than male
respondents (32%) indicated that they had experienced such
Ä Most common form of harassment encountered was verbal,
followed by physical harassment
Ä þn-depth interviews with key informants revealed that the
perpetrators were mainly male superiors or co-workers
Ä Only 22-25% of the victims/survivors would actually report to
their supervisors or to Human Resources reflecting lack of
confidence in the grievance procedure
Ä MOHR received 105 complaints of H from 2001 ± 2004 of
which 10 people were sacked (Ho, 2006)

Ä þnvolves unwanted, unsolicited and unreciprocated

conduct of a sexual nature
Ä þnvolves sexual requests or attention that is not
justified in terms of the working relationship
Ä þnvolves an offence or humiliation or threat to
her/his well being
Ä Various definitions and under various jurisdictions
and approaches
Ä Anti-discrimination, human rights, labour, criminal
laws and Codes of Practice
Ä Most commonly cited definition: European
Commission Recommendation 27
November 1991 on the protection of the
dignity of women and men at work:
Ä Article 1: þt is recommended that sexual
harassment means unwanted conduct of a
sexual nature, or other conduct based on
sex affecting the dignity of women and men
at work. This can include unwelcome
physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct.
  '*  +,---.

Any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature having the effect of

verbal, non-verbal, visual, psychological or physical

(i) That might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived

by the recipient as placing a condition of a sexual
nature on his/her employment; or

(ii) That might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived

by the recipient as an offence or humiliation, or a
threat to her/his well-being, but has no direct link to
her/his employment
/0/ Œ&
+/þ '
&  $&.

' includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual

favours, and other physical, oral or written conduct or visual
manifestations of a sexual nature when:

(i) acceptance of sexual advances or invitations is made or

implied as condition of education or employment; or

(ii) rejection of sexual advances, requests or other sexual

manifestations affects grades or any academic or
personnel decisions that concern the recipient; or
/0/ Œ&+/þ&$

(iii) unwelcome sexual advances or

other sexual advance or other sexual
manifestations which interfere with the
recipient¶s work or create an offensive,
intimidating or hostile employment,
academic or residential environment.

that results in some direct consequence to the
victim¶s employment status or some gain or loss of
tangible job benefits (ù ù )

sexually-related conduct that is hostile, intimidating
or offensive to the recipient, but no direct link to
tangible job benefits.
   /  | )

1. exual harassment only happens to young

and pretty girls.
2. exual harassment is natural - it is part of
the work culture/men¶s sexual drives.
3. exual harassment and flirting are one and
the same ± µjust a bit of workplace fun¶.
4. Women who dress sexily are inviting sexual
harassment ± they µask for it¶.
5. Working women are mainly harassed by
their employers.
|'' *  
Whether an incident is labelled sexual
harassment depends on:
Ä The behaviour in question
Ä The relationship between harasser and
Ä The sex of the harasser
Ä The sex and age of the victim
Ä The sex of the person doing the rating

Four Models (Tangri, Burt and Johnson,1982):

Ä Natural/biological

Ä ocio-cultural

Ä Organisational

Ä ex-role spillover theory

Ä Feminist psychological explanations

Ä Men and women are naturally attracted to
each other and thus like to relate to each
other in sexually oriented manners in the
Ä Women misconstrue this sexual attraction
Ä exual harassment is harmless behavior
rather than a problem to be solved
Ä Essentialist explanation debunked
academically; however it is still a popular
belief held by many in society
Ä An expression of power and hostility whereby those
with the least power in society are the most likely to
be harassed. Thus sexual harassment is not about
sex but about power in that it reflects the unequal
gender power relations in society
Ä Use of male sexuality to exercise and reinforce
men¶s power and control over women
Ä þt is a form of sexual violence and gender
discrimination, which is part of the larger patriarchal
system in which men define the cultural norms by
which women should perceive themselves.
0 3 0 

Ä The hierarchical structure of organizations

lends itself to sexual harassment
encounters. This is because those in power
are granted legitimate power over their
subordinates ± in this case to accept their
subordinate role as a sex object
Ä µex-role spillover denotes the carryover of
gender-based expectations into the
workplace. Women are assumed to be
sexual and to elicit sexual overtures from
men rather naturally.¶

u Women¶s psychological state under

patriarchy: psychologically disempowered
u Psychological of entitlement vs
psychology of accommodation
u Women go along with men¶s use of their
bodies but refuse to accept it verbally.
Are women accomplices of their own
u Psychosocial construction of masculine
identity. H is an act of conformity or over
conformity to masculine identities
* | 4
Ä uperior against subordinate (lecturer against
Ä ubordinate against superior (Dean against
Ä Employer (boss) against employer
Ä Client against employee (vendor against clerk)
Ä Employee against another employee/colleague
Ä þn public spaces (buses, parks): men against
 ''  )
female recipients in a subordinate position, a
woman manager with men under her supervision or
from co-workers

Ä   (small in numbers, but slowly increasing)

men are affected and they should have the same
rights as women

Ä    ' 

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þ    . . .
Ä Happens in hierarchical relationships where
one person wields power over another

Ä Happens to women who have low pay, low

positions and in less desirable jobs

Ä Also happens among co-workers

Ä Happens because there may be resentment

towards women ³invading´ men¶s occupational
  '    )

Ä Fear of embarrassment
Ä Fear of consequences arising out of
Ä Fear of being subject to ridicule
Ä Economic vulnerability
Ä Absence of complaint procedure
Ä ack of confidence in redress
Œ'' ' 

Ä Affects morale
Ä Undermines productivity
Ä Creates intimidating and hostile
working environment
Ä Affects safety of employees
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Ä 25% of survey respondents who were harassed reported

facing an intimidating and hostile work environment
Ä Result: less productive and effective in their work
Ä 20% stated that they felt that their employment opportunities
were threatened
Ä Result: felt stressed, worked less effectively or changed their
pattern of work, while some considered changing their jobs
Ä A substantial proportion of sh victims felt that they were
working within an environment which was hostile and
unsupportive, serious implications on work, productivity and
organisational relations in the company
Ä 2005 urvey: majority of employees at UM felt productivity
affected if H occurred

Ä Establish in-house mechanism to combat

sexual harassment in the workplace
Ä Have a policy statement prohibiting sexual
Ä Establish a compliant/grievance procedure
Ä Establish disciplinary rules and penalties.
Ä Have protective and remedial measures for
the victim.
Ä Have promotional programmes, e.g.,through
communication, education and training.

Ä Employees have a right to work in

dignity/in a safe workplace
Ä tudents need to study in an
environment free from harassment and
Ä We all need to build a safe and just
working environment
Thank you