This research studies the occurrence of gender-based violence (GBV) in the work place, specifically in the formal and informal sectors. The first objective of this research is to identify the pervasiveness of GBV and women’s knowledge about it. Secondly, it examines the perceptions of the respondents in relation to gender inequalities and male domination on women in different organizations in the society and how it infringes women’s rights and stands as violent behaviors that enhance women’s subordination. Next, the paper depicts different forms of violence against women and their negative impact on women’s economic, physical and psychological status.
Lastly, it shows how GBV impacts on organizations and suggests recommendations.
The methods used for this investigation were semi-structured interviews that were conducted with 15 participants (10 females and 5 males) working in the formal sector (Universities and NGOs). They represented different functional and hierarchical levels to provide diverse views and perceptions. The interviews took place in the workplace and held on a one-to-one basis to assure confidentiality of the information disclosed.
They lasted roughly thirty minutes. An appropriate purposive sample, was applied to select the respondents from a limited population. The topics for investigation were respondent’s concept of violence, common types of harassment practiced in workplace, individual’s personal experience of any forms of violence in one’s organization, respondent’s reaction if ever encountered harassment in his/her organization and one’s awareness of policy statement in sexual harassment and its impact on organization.
The data from the informal sector have been collected using in-depth unstructured interviews from a purposively selected sample of female market traders.
A number of six female food-sellers, three handcraft traders and one lady who owned a small stall bookshop and communication service constituted the sample for this part of the study. In addition, two male customers, two male traders and a police officer were also interviewed to better understand even partly the way the patriarchs in the market and their behavior impact on GBV issues. All interviews were conducted at the workplace and lasted for about 1-1 1/2 hours maximum, and were in the Arabic language. Due to restrictions of this study, the budding data from the coding process were classified into two major categories: women’s awareness and perception of the types of GBV and their perception of sexual violence.
Based on a series of analyzed interviews, the researchers discovered that the stance of the interviewees in their impressions of violence in the workplace can be summarized as any unaccepted/ un-welcomed and harmful conduct whether it is verbal, physical, or emotional harassment. According to the majority of the respondents verbal violence is perceived as any insulting, humiliating or belittling remarks from the boss or a colleague and/or when it interferes with the victim’s job performance, others added sexually discriminatory remarks made by a colleague in the workplace which is perceived as belittling. The interviewees habitually believe that physical harassment includes any sexual advances or sexually explicit offensive statements. Psychological or emotional harassment as explained by the targeted respondents circumscribe demands for sexual favors accompanied by implicit or explicit threats concerning one’s job performance, evaluation, and promotion, as one respondent stated: ‘Sexual harassment extends to denying a. qualified employee an opportunity or benefit that was granted to another employee because he/she submitted to the employer’s sexual advances, humiliation and bullying’.
Most of the interviewees pointed out that the common types of harassment practiced in the workplace whether it be from personal experiences or from incidents that happened to their co-workers vary from written and verbal to psychological and physical. Verbal harassment takes the form of yelling and intimidation by managers and/or supervisors that instill a feeling of discomfort, insecurity and coercion on the receiver. Correspondences such as sending sexually explicit /implicit messages or jokes through via text message or e-mail, physical harassment that mostly occur is body touching whether it is accidentally or intentionally, unwanted hugging in greetings, as well as emotional harassment manifested in unfair performance evaluation and blackmailing to be fired from the job.
The research came to conclude that sexual harassment in the workplace indicated ply the respondents lead to a decrease in their work performance and low self-esteem. Some of the interviewees complained of public embarrassment, gossip, and humiliation. As women become scrutinized by the hierarchy in the place of business, the trauma and stress go to the extreme. Gender based violence is one of the issues that have not received very much attention. There needs to be an enforced law that the government should promote regarding fairness that seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. Period.
My feelings on the research are pretty much cut and dry. Stop the sexual harassment in the work place. It shows how much women’s self-esteem is really effected. I also truly believe in my heart that if women had more opportunities to be placed in the hierarchy, there would be a drastic different in the work place. I am not saying women need to take over and become the ruling overlords of society, but I am saying there needs to be equality. And if we never get equality, men need to stop abusing their power. Respect is respect. Every person in position should treat their employees the same, male or female