60% of Women in Europe Are Victims of Sexism at Work
60 percent of women in Europe have suffered abuse or sexual harassment in the workplace, according to a study in five countries. The French research group IFOP found that 21 percent had reported such cases in the last 12 months, and more than 40 percent of the victims are under the age of 30.
More than 10 percent of the 5,000 respondents - nine percent in France, 15 percent in Spain - said they were "forced into" unwanted sex by someone at work. The study authors said that figure "highlights the grey area that may exist around consent" when it can "be extorted in a context of subordination, intimidation or manipulation".
In addition, nine percent of women said they had at least once been "pressured" by a colleague to perform an "act of a sexual nature" such as sex in exchange for job or promotion. While about 18 percent say they have been touched inappropriately, such as a hand on the bottom, a forced hug or an unwanted kiss. The study was conducted in France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain. It also found that sexual abuse which includes whistling, gestures, rude comments or leering, was the most common attack with 46 percent of women affected. The situation in Germany is quite "tough", as far as 56 percent of women are affected.
The study's authors say that "a very small minority of victims of workplace harassment manage to break the wall of silence" and speak out. Only 13 percent of women who have been inappropriately touched, and 16 percent of those who have been sexually abused, said they had talked to someone, such as a superior or a trade unionist, to resolve the issue. The IFOP study was conducted with an online questionnaire in April this year for the Fondation Jean Jaures think tank and the European Foundation for Progressive Studies (FEPS)
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