Study: Over 8% of employees in the Republic of Moldova have faced at least one form of sexual harassment at work


The level of perception of subtle forms as acts of sexual harassment is low, with only a third of respondents managing to identify such cases. Regardless of whether they were asked about subtle, medium, or severe forms, the share of those who identified them as cases of sexual harassment was higher among those who themselves experienced severe forms.

The study also shows that 32.8% of men were not informed about sexual harassment, their share being 9.4% higher than that of employed women. The main sources of information about the phenomenon of sexual harassment are still the mass media and the Internet. Also, the analysis shows that employees in the public sector are more informed than those in the private sector, however, they find it harder to identify forms of sexual harassment.

Perceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace are often driven by one’s own experiences. According to the survey data, it is found that the greater the severity of the case of sexual harassment, the more convinced the employees who have faced them are that: (a) sexual harassment can be avoided in employee-to-employee relationships ) and employee(s), (b) sexual harassment is a very serious problem that cannot be ignored, and (c) sexual harassment has serious consequences for the harassed person.

The frequency of cases of sexual harassment is higher among women. In the last 12 months, about 18% of abused women faced subtle and average forms of sexual harassment at least once every 2-3 months, and another 25% – with severe forms of harassment.

About 60% of abused employees did not report the cases they faced and did not seek help. The reluctance to report cases of sexual harassment is often determined by the low level of trust in the competent bodies, which is why a good part of the people who faced such situations preferred to remedy it individually. At the same time, social pressure, fear of blame are additional factors that discourage victims from speaking/reporting the cases they have faced

If employees are victims of sexual harassment, most believe that it will be enough to talk to the aggressor in order to resolve the case. Only in serious cases, such as an attempt to have sexual relations by force or requests through threats to have sexual relations, a higher share of respondents who would turn to the competent bodies to report such cases is found.

However, the share of those who will turn to the competent bodies in serious cases of harassment did not even register 50%. Addressability to the competent organs in the case of medium and subtle forms would be practically nil: up to 10%.

The study was conducted by the Development Partnership Center and the Coalition for Inclusion and Non-Discrimination.

We specify that the head of the general methodology, planning and reporting department of the Court of Accounts, Tatiana Vozian, accused the president of the institution, Marian Lupu, of sexual advances. Although Lupu personally did not come with a reaction, the institution posted a statement claiming that the accusations “are slander and insinuations”.

Later, Marian Lupu announced that she would sue Tatiana Vozian for slander and defamation of the head of the CCRM and, implicitly, of the institution as a whole.

We mention that, in the meeting of April 12, the Government voted the Program for promoting and ensuring equality between women and men in the Republic of Moldova for the years 2023-2027.

Currently, in terms of gender equality, our country registers an indicator of 62 points out of a possible 100, which indicates that in the last 10 years the Republic of Moldova has advanced by only five points, most of the progress being recorded in 2021, thanks to the increase in the number of women elected to Parliament.

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