Sexual Harassment Can Happen to Both Female and Male Employees

Photo by Unsplash.

Every day, more and more cases of sexual harassment and violence appear in Indonesia. This case happen everywhere without exception in the workplace. According to the International Labor Organization, sexual harassment is a serious form of sexual discrimination that affects the dignity of women and men.

Sexual harassment can happen to people of the same or different sex. Both men and women can be victims or perpetrators of abuse. Despite the fact that women tend to be more vulnerable with sexual harassment, this does not mean that men cannot be victims. Based on a quantitative study by the Indonesia Judicial Research Society (IJRS) with the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) in 2020, there were 33.3 percent of men who experienced sexual violence. While working from home, based on Never Okay Project data, 1 in 4 men has been a victim of sexual harassment.

If there is a situation that can affect the employment relationship process, work decision making, or an uncomfortable work situation because the employer, management, supervisor, or worker will make a request in exchange for sexual favors, then this is considered as 'quid pro quo' sexual harassment. Meanwhile, if the work environment feels intimidating and lacks respect for others, so that sexual harassment is possible, then this is considered a Hostile Working Environment.

Making sexually suggestive jokes or comments is the most common form of sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, like "She's great with her hand. If you know what I mean," or "How was your weekend? Did you get any?" or "Hi Sexy! How are you today?"

The difference between sexual harassment and flirting

Whereas sexual harassment in the workplace does not only affect the victim but also the perpetrator, the community and business owners. The perpetrator tend to get rejected by the society, have a bad reputation, losing friends, losing careers, facing lawsuits, and be sentenced to prison. The long-term disadvantages that are present in society are non-inclusive culture, loss to rehabilitate victims, losing qualified female workers and increasing the unemployment rate. As for business owners, the impact is a decrease in productivity due to disrupted team performance, demotivation and absenteeism workers, the impact can also hinder the progress of the company due to a bad reputation and lost innovation.

Prevention is the most effective tool to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.

Precautions include:

  1. Dare to say "NO" to any behavior that has a sexual connotation.
  2. Participate in educational programs, including special training held by communities, organizations and companies. This can help identify harassment and prevention issues.
  3. Encouraging companies to build commitments to prevent sexual harassment in the work environment, including the provision of sanctions and other disciplinary actions through:

A complete discussion of sexual harassment and its impact on social and work life became one of the training materials from IBCWE entitled Anti Sexual Harassment. In this training material, IBCWE will help workers to understand sexual harassment in the workplace, facts and examples of cases related to sexual harassment in the workplace, the impact of sexual harassment in the workplace and actions that companies can take to prevent and reduce sexual harassment. The facilities obtained in this training are in the form of facilitators, online training, modules provided after training, electronic certificates. Contact us for more information to Tedi - Partnership Manager, via email

Let's create a safe and comfortable work environment for both women and men by continuously educating ourselves and those around us to better understand the dangers of sexual harassment, and what can be done to prevent it!

1 December 2021

Tiara Tri Hapsari