“The IADB-funded National Women’s Health Survey[…] found that […] fewer than 60,000 out of 463,000 women [had been sexually harassed in Trinidad and Tobago]. The most prevalent type of harassment was ‘in the form of electronic messages with sexual content’, which means that most women who were harassed were harassed by persons to whom they had given their contact information.
“Being harassed ‘at work, on the job’ […] seems to be a relatively rare occurrence.”
The following Letter to the Editor, which suggests that sexual harassment on the job is not as widespread as assumed in Trinidad and Tobago, was submitted to Wired868 by Kevin Baldeosingh of Freeport:
In a guest column published here on Wired868 on Monday 7 May 2018, communications consultant and former Witco public relations head Dennise Demming asserts that “We need to pass legislation about sexual harassment and implement sexual harassment policies in ministries, State enterprises and the protective services.”
For the past several months, this has been the parroted #MeToo call from mimic feminists and various media houses, all of whom have been asserting, on no basis save perception and anecdote, that the problem is widespread and pernicious. Because, you know, men.
Now, however, there is some actual empirical data on which a policy response can be based. The IADB-funded National Women’s Health Survey released last week polled 1,079 women aged 15 to 64 and found that “Sexual harassment (at work, on the job, public transport, and virtual spaces) was experienced by 13 percent of women.”
That means that, of the sample, 140 women had been harassed and, if this is extrapolated to the national population, fewer than 60,000 out of 463,000 women.
Moreover, the most prevalent type of harassment was “in the form of electronic messages with sexual content,” which means that most women who were harassed were harassed by persons to whom they had given their contact information.
Being harassed “at work, on the job” (I don’t know what the Survey’s authors think is the difference between those two) seems to be a relatively rare occurrence.
So the policy question now is this: is sexual harassment so prevalent and so serious as to require the legislative responses desired by Ms Demming and other activists?
Good policy is a matter of trade-offs since costs, both fiscal and social, are always attached to passing laws and regulations.
So is sexual harassment an issue for the heavy hand of the State? Or should effective responses be left within the purview of companies and organisations and, dare I say, individual men and women?