Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Sexual Harassment

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HealthWiki > Where Women Have No Doctor > Chapter 26: Work > Sexual Harassment


Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual attention from an employer, manager, or any man with power over a woman. This includes saying something sexual that makes a woman uncomfortable, touching her in a sexual way, or making her have sex. Every woman is in danger of sexual harassment. It does not matter if she works for her family in the country or in a factory in the city. There are many reasons why it is hard for a woman to say ‘no’ to sexual harassment:

  • She may be afraid she will lose her job, which she needs to support herself and her family.
a man standing behind and touching a woman who sits at a sewing machine
  • She may have been raised to obey and respect the wishes of older men and men in power.
  • The man may be a relative, and she may be afraid if she says no or complains he will be made to look bad.
More Information
Rape and Sexual Assualt

But no matter what situation a woman is in, sexual harassment is wrong. It is also against the law in many countries. If you have been sexually harassed, try to find someone to confide in and to give you support. You can also share your experience with other women. Although you may not be able to end the harassment, sharing your story with others can help them avoid being harassed.


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