Women in contract jobs more likely to face sexual advances

September 17th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Sep 17 (IANS) Women holding casual and contract jobs are 10 times more likely to face sexual advances than those in permanent positions, according to a study.The research by Anthony LaMontagne, VicHealth Centre for the Promotion of Mental Health and Community Wellbeing, 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,” he said.

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

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

“The study is 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.”

These findings suggest that workers in precarious employment arrangements need much greater protections from unwanted sexual advances,” LaMontagne said.

Victorian Health Promotion Foundation CEO Todd Harper said: “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.

These findings will be presented at the Vth World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders.

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