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Workplace Sexual Harassment Costs Jobs?

12 August 2003

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Workplace Sexual Harassment Costs Jobs?

The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) was pleased to see the UN CEDAW Committee has made a broad range of recommendations to the Government to address violence, sexual harassment and discrimination against women.

“Women’s organisations around the country share the Committees concern at the lack of systematic data collection on violence against women, including sexual harassment in the workplace”, said Beryl Anderson, National President of NCWNZ.

The Committee called on the Government to ensure that women, who file sexual harassment complaints, have legal protection to remain in their jobs.

“Evidence of dismissals in a workplace of anyone, other than the perpetrator of the harassment, following a sexual harassment complaint is very troubling. Sexual harassment has been a social taboo for more than 20 years now, any employer who reacts to a complaint in that manner needs to join the rest of us in the new millennium!”, said Ms Anderson.

In December 2002, Beryl Anderson said “While there have been changes to human rights legislation, the legal definition of discrimination against women and girls has yet to be resolved. Sexual harassment and sex role stereotyping remain prolific in our society”. The UN CEDAW Committee appears to have reached a similar decision.

The Committee has recommended to the Government that a structure for systematic data collection on all forms of violence be devised. The Committee further recommends that all violence against women is prosecuted and punished and that the number of cases of such is quantified. The Committee also called for an increase in the number of shelters for victims of violence and increased public awareness.

ENDS

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