Sexual Harassment in Canada
Typically, sexual harassment is sexually unwanted advances which range from an invasion of somebody’s personal space to unwelcome sexual remark or touching. Notably, in the workplace, there are two types of sexual harassment which consist of quid pro quo that emphasizes on the situation whereby organizations’ decision such as promotions, hiring, and firing depend on the victim’s willingness to provide sexual services. Eventually, hostile work environment is another type of sexual harassment whereby the employees especially ladies are treated according to their sexual offers they provide to their superiors (Barreto, Ryan & Schmitt 2009). Besides, if a lady doesn’t offer any sexual practice, she is treated in a hostile way by her boss during the daily activities in the workplace. Besides, in Canada, sexual assault has three levels according to the density in which it occurs. These standards include level one, whereby the sexual assault results in little or no physical injury. In level two, the attack involves weapons, bodily harm or a threat and lastly, in level three, it is engaged with wounds physically or being life-threatened.
Sexual harassment has been experienced in most workplaces in Canadian. For instance, according to research carried out by SCGSSV for, statistics Canada’s general social survey on victimization, there were reported 553,000 sexual assaults in the year 2014. Besides, women are said to be sexually assaulted ten times compared to the men in their places of work. Although some cases of sexual harassments are reported, many cases eventually end up being unreported (Willness, Steel, & Lee, 2007). According to the research, many women who get assaulted fail to report due to shame which they receive and others avoid being blamed for causing the violence or even seducing the men to act so. Since 1996, the rate of sexual assaults in Canada has remained unchanged whereby women’s sexual assaults remain 20% higher than that of men according to the self- reported data given by general social survey on victimization. Although women are mostly assaulted sexually, there is a certain age of these ladies who tend to be victimized chiefly. Typically, young women of the age between eighteen years old and twenty-four are frequently assaulted eighteen times more than older women.
Notably, sexual harassment can be caused by socialization depending on the way the individual was brought up to view themselves. For instance, in any culture which discriminates other people according to their races, gender, religion or political background, may influence the individuals to conduct sexual harassment as a way of belittling the opponent. In some cultures, there is an existence of some morals which involve kissing or hugging in which they may tend to bring those values to the workplace where there are different people whom their culture may be against those behaviors as cited in Willness, et al. (2007). Due to the difference in morals, a person may try to kiss the other as he is used to doing in their community while the other person may take it as sexual harassment. In some religions may assume to be superior to the other people who have a different kind of faith. When workers bring this notion to the workplace may start discriminating the opponents and start practicing unwanted touches to humiliate them. Notably, in Canada, some cases of sexual harassment are caused by racial difference where people from different counties are profoundly assaulted compared to the Canadian citizens. Different race regard others as inferior thus they misuse their power to the job seeker from other countries as the sign of hostility. The people from other countries are assaulted most if they are taking higher positions in a company compared to the citizens who may be on the lower rank. This makes them feel they have been denied their chances in their county hence they show it by harassments.
Furthermore, power and authority in the workplaces promote the sexual assaults where the seniors in an organization may feel that they have permanent rule over the subordinates. This notion makes them think that they are determinants of the success of the employees and may tend to carry out unwanted sexual comments to them. The top managers tend to use advantages or opportunity over the subordinates because they have the authority to make any possible changes in the company (McDonald, 2012). Due to the power the seniors have over the juniors, they tend to demand sexual services to favor them in the workplace. If they refuse, they put themselves in a position to be treated in a hostile manner or even be fired. In most companies in Canada, the Human Resource department use their position to ask their interviewees to offer them sexual services to get the job vacancies they had applied. Also, most culture regard men to be dominant compared to women and this makes the men in the workplace feel that they have total control over the women and thus promoting sexual assaults. From the research carried out by General Social Survey on Victimization, most sexual harassments are done by the seniors in the workplace to their juniors.
Besides, there is a tendency of victim blaming whereby the harasser may blame the victim’s lifestyle or dressing. In a place of work, many may tend to have a different view according to the way their women colleagues are dressing or their lifestyle in the office (Lim & Cortina, 2005). Due to this, men would start having assaulting comments on them or even engaging in touching activities. Furthermore, when such cases are reported, the management tends to listen to the person who has more credibility to the organization instead of focusing on making the right decision. If the harasser is of more significance to the continuation of the business operations than the victim, he may take that chance to harass the women because he has control over the management. Also, when a junior makes a mistake in business operation, she may be blamed by her boss and instead of being fired she would be required to offer sexual services to protect the job. This happens mostly to the new workers who may be valuing their jobs more than their dignity hence giving in so quickly to their boss’ interests.
To minimise sexual harassment in jobs; it is necessary for organizations to develop policies which will guide the employees’ behaviors in the workplace. The companies should also implement disciplinary procedures. Besides, the staff in the workplace should be taught about the sexual harassment to be aware what is because some workers get sexually abused without even knowing according to Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper (2010). They should be taught about their rights and the places to report such cases if they happen. The Canadian Women’s Foundation could profoundly enhance the awareness of sexual harassment or assaults to the society and the benefits of reporting cases. To overthrow this disaster; the victims should speak up when they are abused sexually so that the necessary steps can be taken (Einarsen et al. 2010). The policies in the Canada should be enhanced and improved to have a stiff punishment of the individuals being involved in such actions in the workplaces
In conclusion, sexual harassments continue to be a threat which is growing at a high rate in Canada. The citizens are now demanding the necessary action to be taken to stop sexual harassments in the places of work entirely. The victims are encouraged to report the issues to the relevant sectors so that the harassers get the required punishment as per the law according to Einarsen et al. (2010). By reporting the cases, these issues will get into a minimization point. Furthermore, there are many more cases of sexual assaults which end up being unreported because the victims need to conserve their dignity in the society. If the victims fail to report, the harassers get more encouraged to continue with the same behavior in the workplace. Despite the lifestyle or the dressing code of the individuals in the workplace, nobody should be touched unwillingly in the workplace (Bowling & Beehr, 2006). In most of the workplaces, the number of men is found to be higher compared to the number of women; this encourages the men to stand together to take the opportunity to harass the women.
Barreto, M. E., Ryan, M. K., & Schmitt, M. T. (2009). The glass ceiling in the 21st century: Understanding barriers to gender equality. American Psychological Association.
Bowling, N. A., & Beehr, T. A. (2006). Workplace harassment from the victim's perspective: a theoretical model and meta-analysis.
Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D., & Cooper, C. (Eds.). (2010). Bullying and harassment in the workplace: Developments in theory, research, and practice. Crc Press.
Lim, S., & Cortina, L. M. (2005). Interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace: the interface and impact of general incivility and sexual harassment. Journal of applied psychology, 90(3), 483.
McDonald, P. (2012). Workplace sexual harassment 30 years on: a review of the literature. International Journal of Management Reviews, 14(1), 1-17.
Willness, C. R., Steel, P., & Lee, K. (2007). A meta‐analysis of the antecedents and consequences of workplace sexual harassment. Personnel Psychology, 60(1), 127-162.
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