A Third of Israeli Women Experience Sexual Harassment at Work

Some 40% of women feel the workplace is not safe, from the perspective of harassment, according to a survey by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.

No less than 35% to 40% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work, a third of whom experienced it in the last 12 months. Some 40% feel the workplace is not safe, from the perspective of harassment, according to a survey by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.

The survey also tried to quantify the price that businesses and the women themselves pay for sexual harassment. It found that just over 19% of women who reported being harassed by a colleague felt their productivity had diminished as a result.

Seven percent of the women reporting harassment said they had missed up to a month of work in the last year because of it, and 5% said they had to truncate their working day as a result. Of the women reporting sexual harassment, 17% said they decided to leave the workplace because of it, while 2% said they stayed, but moved to another position or division.

The survey also looked at the nature of the offense: 69% of the women who had undergone harassment said they had received "proposals," 47% reported comments of a sexual nature, 22% cited physical violation, 10% reported humiliation and 7.7% reported extortion and threats.

Yet, the ministry found, only 9.5% of the women who experienced harassment complained, whether to management, their union, the police or a women's rights organization.

A majority of cases, 64%, reported that the offender was senior to them in rank, 29% reported that he was a colleague and 7% reported that he was lower in status.