On November 25, Center for Sustainable Communities Development together with Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Agriculture, organized a webinar on gender equality and violence against women.

One of the main highlights during the event was sexual harassment in the workplace - a topic we are working on within the TEAMWORK project. The director of CSCD – Stanimira Hadjimitova explained what this type of harassment is, how and where it is most often practiced. Employees of higher positions, who use their official position for personal gain, are almost always favored.

It was interesting to share the results of a national survey among employees and managers, organized within the TEAMWORK project - this was done by Violeta Ivanova, Deputy director of the Institute for Social and Trade Union Research at CITUB and an expert at the CSCD One of the main conclusions of this study is that the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace is not perceived as relevant, nor is it commented on and realized by the community. Its main manifestation is most often in the form of mental violence, but nevertheless the phenomenon is underestimated and introduced in the context of the daily difficulties faced by workers.

Harassment can be defined even when the person who is harassing does not intend to offend someone and for him it is just a joke, harmless flirt or flattery. This type of harassment is often difficult for victims to realize, so it remains unreported, and workers are unaware that this violates not only their labor rights but also their human rights. Many victims do not take action for fear of repression.

Violeta Ivanova identifies depression, fear on the workplace, use of sick leave, unfocused work and frequent mistakes as the main signs of recognizing that an employee is a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The participants in the online discussion, including representatives of various institutes and regional directorates, as well as managers of companies and directors of colleges, said they are not well aware of the topic and it is definitely not on their agenda, but they showed interest in future project activities.

According to them, it should also be taken into account that in the last 2 years the concept of the workplace has changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and such should no longer be considered only the physical place, but also the whole work atmosphere and environment, even online.

The infoday ended with thanks for the fruitful meeting and readiness for joint future actions to combat sexual harassment in the workplace!


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