At least half of working women face sexual harassment: trade union
At least half of working women in the Netherlands face sexual harassment at work, trade union CNV concluded in a survey among 2,700 working people performed by Maurice de Hond's office. With about 4 million working women in the country, that's about 2 million facing sexual harassment in the office, Trouw reports.
Of the women who face harassment, nearly a third experienced sexual assault or other physical harassment in the workplace. Two thirds experienced things like catcalling, sexual comments, and sexual language. Among men, 18 percent experienced sexual harassment at work. "Unprecedented," CNV chairman Piet Fortuin said about the survey's findings. "These are staggering figures. Women are not safe in the workplace."
Equally worrying, according to the union, is that many women don't report sexually inappropriate behavior. 41 percent of harassed women did not go to the confidential adviser, about a quarter did not mention the inappropriate behavior at work, and a quarter did not even know where to turn with complaints.
CNV wants better rules to tackle sexual harassment at work. Every company must have a protocol against sexual harassment. Currently only about one in three has such a protocol, the union said. And every employee must be able to turn to a confidential adviser. Especially smaller companies tend not to have someone like that.
"Everyone should be informed,"Jolanda van Zwieten of CNV said to the newspaper. "Like you're told when you start a new job: there's the coffee machine, so you should also be told: you can go there and there in case of inappropriate behavior."