|Sexual harassment, especially when it occurs in the workplace, has become a hot issue globally, and is attracting greater attention and concern from China's Government and the public at large.|
Sexual harassment in the workplace has become a hot issue globally in modern society. When we encounter or witness sexual harassment, how should we react? How should we preserve evidence and protect our rights and interests? And, how can we appeal to employers and the relevant authorities?
In China, many victims of sexual harassment have passively accepted offenses and sometimes were forced to resign. “If a woman is offended, it constitutes a crime no matter whether the incident happens in the workplace or in a public area,” said a Chinese official.
Violence against women is prohibited in China's Law on the Protection of Women's Rights and Interests. Sexual harassment survivors should express their opposition flatly and order the offenders to stop any inappropriate behavior. If we see anyone around us committing a crime against women, we should also ask them to stop, and help by offering sufferers maximum protection.
Sexual harassment at work is often hidden and unexpected. Most of the incidents occur in occasions when just two people are around. In order to fight sexual harassment and safeguard legal rights, the victims should collect offensive evidence in a timely manner, including telephone recordings, chat history, photos, text messages and emails.
When obtaining adequate proof, violated employees are advised to complain to their employers and relevant departments and tell the truth. Women are also advised to ask women's federations at any level for help and appeal to the people's court in the case of filing civil lawsuits.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is closely linked to equality for women, labor rights and human dignity. Therefore, it is the employers' obligation to treat employees equally and provide a secure working environment.
Workplace sexual harassment may have an adverse impact on the brand image of a company. It is the responsibility of the enterprise to protect the legitimate rights and interests of employees by establishing a smooth and effective complaints-handling mechanism concerning sexual harassment. Meanwhile, company leaders should launch relevant training courses, informing employees how to prevent and report such incidents.
With the implementation of the Special Provisions on Labor Protection for Women Workers, all areas of society should cooperate with each other to further develop and improve settlement mechanisms and relief channels in instances of sexual harassment in the workplace, and create safe working environments for female workers.
(Women of China)