Sexual harassment at workplace

Kouta, Christiana ; Kaite, Charis P. (2008)


According to the Equal Treatment of Men and Women in the Employment and Professional Educational Laws 2002-2006, four forms of discrimination exist because of gender: 1. Direct gender discrimination 2. Indirect gender discrimination 3. Sexual harassment and 4. Harassment The Introduction of sexual harassment as a discrimination is very innovative in the Cypriot legislation as well as a socio-cultural challenge. Sexual harassment is defined as “the undersirable by the recipient behaviour of sexual nature that has as aim or result the offence of the dignity of the person, especially when it creates a humiliating, intimidating or hostile working environment and it’s expressed with words or actions”. Within the nursing profession the percentage of sexual harassment seemed to be high. This article aims to increase the awareness of nurses in relation to sexual harassment at workplace. This literature review discusses the: a) stereotypes and myths around the sexual harassment are recorded; b) examples of sexual harassment and c) methods for the prevention and confrontatio of sexual harassment at workplace. Particular reference is made to the Code of Practice for the confrontation of sexual harassment at workplace. Review methods: For the purpose of this study, several database have been used, like CINAHL, MEDLINE, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and PubMED under the keywords, sexual harassment at the workplace. Also the Code of Practice for the confrontation of sexual harassment at workplace was reviewed. Results: Through the literature and Cyprus available data the problem of the sexual harassment at workplace is apparent. Sexual harassment is more frequent in women but it can also happen to men. The perpetrators can be of the same or the opposite sex. In most cases the perpetrators are the employers and colleagues. The prevention and confrontation include preventive seminars, information and awareness of employers and employees, empowerment of the individual, penal prosecution and access in counseling services for victim support. In Cyprus, the ombudsman office composed the Code of Practice for the confrontation of sexual harassment in the workplace in 2007.

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