Shanghai/Beijing: A survey conducted in China has found that one in every five female respondents has experienced sexual harassment at work.
The poll found 20 percent of the 1,837 participants from 10 enterprises in four provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Hebei and Beijing had been victims of sexual harassment.
According to the China Daily, the survey was conducted by Women``s Watch China, a Beijing-based non-profit organization. The definition of sexual harassment included leering, getting inappropriately close, sending text messages or e-mails with sexual content, improper behavior such as obscene gestures or flashing, kissing, hugging and even rape.
The survey also found that the cases of sexual harassment go unreported, as people are afraid of losing their jobs. Only 45.6 percent of those who were victimized took issue with their harassers and just 34.3 percent reported the person to managers. Fewer than 20 percent called police or took civil legal action.87.4 percent of the respondents of the survey had never experienced harassment said they would warn their harassers if sexual harassment occurred and 70 percent said they would report or sue the harasser.
The survey also reported low level of awareness among people regarding protective mechanism as only 5 percent of the victims said they knew who to call after they were harassed and 45 percent said there was not a reporting mechanism where they worked.
About 81 percent of those surveyed considered stringent punishments as a remedy for sexual harassment and 66 percent felt imparting training in defensive mechanism could be useful.