In the light of news-breaking allegations against Harvey Weinstein (see the Nov 2 blog post) more than 30,000 women joined the “#MeToo” campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace. Originally started by the actress Alyssa Milano, this campaign was joined by a large number of women from around the world, including Anna Paquin, Debra Messing, Gabrielle Union, Lady Gaga and others. Since the hashtag appeared on Twitter, it was used 850,000 times within the first 48 hours.
The aim of the campaign – to raise awareness about sexual harassment – was undoubtedly achieved as media around the world are sharing inspiring but equally sad stories on a daily basis. The message sent by the campaign empowers women who may be a victim of sexual harassment at work by showing that they are not the only ones and that the shame is not theirs. It is also an eye-opener for the world on how major the problem of sexual harassment is and that changes have to be made.
Trades Union Congress’ report on sexual harassment in 2016 provides further evidence:
52 per cent of women were sexually harassed at work.
35 per cent of women heard inappropriate comments or jokes of a sexual nature about other women.
32 per cent have been subject to unwelcome jokes of a sexual nature.
28 per cent of respondents were subject to comments of a sexual nature about their body or clothes at work.
25 per cent suffered unwanted verbal sexual advances at work.
12 per cent experienced unwanted sexual touching or attempts to kiss them at work.
Females who find themselves in a situation where they feel they are being sexually harassed at work should not hesitate to contact an employment lawyer to get confidential legal advice on the situation.