Despite the progress made in improving women’s status in China in recent years, significant gaps and challenges remain in the prevention and eradication of sexual harassment.
A survey by Reuters/IPSOS in 2010, which polled about 12,000 people in 24 countries earlier this year, showed that workers in China were the second most likely to have felt sexual harassment, at a rate of 18%. China trailed India where a 26% report rate was recorded.
A study conducted by The Maple Women’s Psychological Counseling Center shows that 80.8% of women have experienced sexual harassment and a shocking 80% of men have also experienced the same. Whether the victim is male or female, the harasser is most often male.
A national survey of 8,000 women, carried out by Sina.com and Chat magazine a few years ago, found that 79% of female respondents had experienced sexual harassment, compared to 22% of men.
One survey shows 79% of women have experienced sexual harassment.
Workplace: a hard hit area
Many of the incidents occur on the job. Workplace harassment cases emerge between the superior and subordinate, between colleagues, or with business associates.
A 2009 survey of 5,000 individuals by recruitment firm Zhilian Zhaopin found that 38.8% of the female employees polled had been sexually harassed. The rate for male employees was 15.6%. More than 80% of sexual harassment in the workplace was committed by superiors.
According to the survey, physical harassment accounted for 68.2% of the cases, followed by verbal harassment at 44.9%. An increasing number of women are hurt by new forms of harassment, such as lewd photographs sent via email and suggestive text messages.
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