79 percent of women face sexual harassment at workplace

March 17th, 2009 - 6:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, March 17 (IANS) A study has revealed that 79 percent of women face sexual harassment at workplace and those in casual and contract jobs are more at risk.
Anthony LaMontagne, associate professor at the VicHealth Centre for the Promotion of Mental Health and Community Wellbeing (VHCPMHCW), examined the likelihood of sexual harassment in different types of employment.

“Our study shows that 79 percent of those who experience unwanted sexual advances at work are women,” LaMontagne said.

“The study is an important new evidence because precarious employment has been associated with a variety of adverse working conditions as well as with poorer mental and physical health,” he added.

“People who are employed in casual jobs are about five times more likely to be subjected to unwanted sexual advances.”

“The research also shows that people in contract positions are about 10 times more likely to be sexually harassed at work,” LaMontagne added.

Victorian Health Promotion Foundation CEO Todd Harper observed: “Not only are women more likely to experience sexual harassment but females make up bigger proportions of industries which use more casual and contract labour.”

“There is a strong link between sexual harassment and mental health problems. This behaviour is costly and preventable,” Harper said in a release.

The study will be presented at the From Margins to Mainstream Conference: 5th World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental and Behavioural Disorders.

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