Women More Exposed to Sexual Harassment in Workplace Than Men, Ombudsman Says

By 30 April 2022
Women More Exposed to Sexual Harassment in Workplace Than Men, Ombudsman Says

ZAGREB, 30 April 2022 - Women under 50 are up to seven times more exposed to sexual harassment in the workplace than men, Gender Equality Ombudsman Višnja Ljubičić said in parliament earlier this week on the occasion of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, observed on 28 April.

Numerous surveys in Croatia confirm the occurrence of harassment, including sexual, in the workplace and that it is gender-based, she said.

They show that 7.9% of women under 50 experience sexual harassment in the workplace, especially those under 35, as against 1.1% of men.

Last year saw a significant increase in sexual harassment complaints thanks to initiatives such as #nisamtražila (I didn't ask for it).

However, only one in ten respondents reported it, citing fear of losing the job and not believing that the perpetrator will be punished.

Also, 36.6% of female respondents reported mobbing, as against 10% fewer men.

Ljubičić said that in professions like social welfare, health, education, administration and journalism, female employees were the victims of violent behaviour by service users.

Over 75% of men and women said the sexual harassment and unacceptable behaviour they experienced in the workplace affected their health, either physically or mentally.

Ljubičić said certain steps forward were made in 2021, including stricter penalties and prosecution ex officio for the criminal offence of sexual harassment.

On the other hand, she added, only several cases are prosecuted a year and there are even fewer convictions.