What is sexual harassment?

By | on May 1, 2016 | 0 Comment

The concept of harassment, assault, violence, torment and so forth are not new concepts in Persian folkloric literature; however, a gender prospective approach due to many reasons does not historically exist in Afghanistan conservative tradition. Considering lack of this approach the sexual harassment is a common stereotype in any patriotic, traditional and undeveloped societies by which the personal security of citizens, especially women are highly threatened.

Sexual harassment as a bad and mostly accepted stereotype by which the perpetrator/s tend to reach sexual please or sexual humility by means of coercion, threatening, intimidation and / or un welcomed molestation. Sexual assault covers multiple forms of violence such as public sexual harassment, sexual violence, molestation, eve-teasing, marital rape, sexual exploitation and rape. Harmful gender stereotypes are intrinsic to the commission of sexual assaults in Afghanistan. Moreover, in some cases sexual harassment include lewd comments or trying to make sexual contact and contactless harassing actions like lustful or lecherous looks. The rapes or sexual molestations occurred during the wars and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation should be added to those types above.[1]

The sexual harassment term was first used in a report focused on various issues related to gender equality by Masochist University in 1973 and then coined by Cornell University activists in 1975 and this pervasive problem was finally given a name.[2] Sexual harassment may take place in many circumstances and in most of the cases the perpetrator may be positioned in an authority over the victim due to differences in age, social, political, educational, or administrative status which facilitates women’s subjection to being harassed. The perpetrator/s may be of the relatives and acquaintances, coworkers, cohorts, and /or strangers as well as it may happen at any possible places. Family, streets, parks, educational environments, offices and so on are the most common areas in which sexual harassment may take place. Meanwhile, it may happen by a person of opposite sex, but rarely by individuals of the same sex. Many consequences are imaginable to this pervasive problem including physical injury, mental illness, family and social damage.

[1]  Caroline Sprague, “when we talk about what we’re talking about?”, sexual harassment and rape from sociological viewpoint, Mehrmah magazine, No. 14

[2]  https://fa.wikipedia.org/wiki, sexual harassment.

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