What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women or UN Women commissioned a study on the safety perception and prevalence of sexual harassment in two barangays of Quezon City, Barangays Payatas and Bagong Silangan. The study was undertaken by the Social Weather Station (SWS) among 800 respondents in February 2016.
The study revealed that three out of five women respondents experienced sexual harassment at least, once, in their lifetime. Most of these women are between the ages of 18-24 years old and majority of the type of sexual harassment received is verbal in nature such as wolf whistling, catcalling or lascivious language. However, 34% of the women respondents experienced the worst forms of sexual harassment such as flashing, public masturbation and groping. 70% of sexual harassment incidences were done by a complete stranger. And 1 of 2 women did not report or do anything after the incident of harassment, and that 20% of these women did nothing because of fear.
The study is part of the ongoing Safe Cities Programme of the UN Women in partnership with the Quezon City Government, which aims to develop a comprehensive approach to decrease risk of sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women and girls in public spaces.
Quezon City is the pilot city of the Safe Cities Global Initiative implemented by the UN Women in the Philippines, and is among 24 cities globally that have joined the programme.
Also, the UN Women and the Quezon City Government kicked off a month-long campaign on Safe Cities for Women in celebration of the National Women's Month. A thousand and more floating lanterns lighted the Quezon City skyline on the eve of the celebration of International Women's Day. The activity aims to raise national awareness on the issue of sexual harassment and sexual violence against women and girls (SVAWG) in public spaces.
Several other activities are lined up for the campaign and celebration of the National Women's Month throughout the city such as conduct of trainings against sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women in public spaces among male gender equality advocates, LGBT grassroots organizations, women with disabilities; as well as an immersion activity for Safe Cities celebrity supporter, Glaiza de Castro.
For more information UN Women and the activities, log on to www.unwomen.org .