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Workplace Sexual Harassment and its Underreporting in Pakistan

   | 14 nov. 2022
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Sexual harassment in the workplace is a reflection of unequal power relationship among genders and should not be seen as isolated cases emanating from psychological or criminal roots. The practice of sexual harassment in the workplace occurs in occupations and industries which turns working environment for women into stressful, damaging, and hostile and makes it difficult for them to achieve their rightful place in employment. Sexual harassment in the workplace is the most frequent form of gender-based violence occurring in Pakistani society which is characterized by patriarchy and gender segregation. When women attempt to join workforce and take economic responsibilities of family in opposite to predominating social norms, they have to suffer from sexual harassment. This sort of unfriendly and hostile working environment for women disclose not only the gender-biased structure of the workplace but also ingrained and entrenched culture which objectify women and quite often paints her as mere recipients of male desire. The view of women’s objectification are reproduced and perpetuated in working environment of patriarchal societies. This study is an endeavor to find out the causes of sexual harassment in the workplace in Pakistan; and what are the underlying factors which lead to under-reporting of the incidences of sexual harassment. This study asserts that the patriarchal values prevailing in Pakistani society breed sexual harassment in the workplace and also preclude victims to report the incidence by not giving them appropriate moral, cultural and legal support. This study argues that in an environment like Pakistan where rule of law is not prevalent in entire society so just having policies and awareness regarding these policies could not be a valid and significant element for lowering the sexual harassment incidences. This phenomenon reflects the unequal power relationships between genders and cannot be combated until patriarchal mindsets are changed which can be achieved only by transforming the existing patriarchal society itself that is producing such mindsets.

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Cultural Studies, General Cultural Studies, History, Miscellaneous, Music, general, Philosophy, other