Women’s Experience of Workplace Sexual Harassment & Their Coping Mechanisms: The Case of Arada Sub-City Kebele Recreation Centers

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of this study was to assess women sexual harassment, their experience and coping mechanism against sexual harassment at hotel industries. The study selected many lower standard restaurants within Arada Sub-city that are governed under the auspicious of government. This selection was undertaken in accordance to the availability of such institutions and their higher level of sexual harassing experience among Sub-cities based on a preliminary assessment. The qualitative research methods of in-depth interview technique that was employed in the study focused on major issues which includes; women workers and supervisors of both sex understanding of sexual harassment, the causes of sexual harassment at hotel industries, types, extent, frequency of sexual harassing experience and conducive environment that perpetuates such acts, perpetrators characteristics and background, techniques of coping sexual harassing experiences, impacts of sexual harassment, sorting out all the informal and formal coping strategies that deployed either unilaterally by women workers or their institution. Furthermore, observation of such settings both day and night also carried out to complement the information gathered through depth-interview. Therefore, the study find out that woman workers in hotel industries are working in a risky and vulnerable settings for sexually harassing behaviors. As a result, from a minor forms of sexual harassing experience such as unnecessary staring at women workers and gone through some form of verbal up until force infused physical attack inflicted upon women. These harassing experiences almost happen on a daily basis irrespective of their working hours more frequently especially by young males. This harassment experience badly impacted the women’s life ranging from minor mood changes to physical and emotional problems. This highly disorganizes their personal and marital life and more worsen, put them on a continuous momentum of fear. In addition, their harassing experience negatively affects their working environment and it forced them hate their work. It was also the reason for their state of mind that suggests changing work would be a solution for such social problems. The finding of this study shows that majority of women responded to such form of harassing experiences either informally or totally ignore as if nothing happen on them. This arises out of lack of formally employed grievance responding system in these organizations and in fear of counter-harassment from the same person as a result of their complaining. Moreover, a traditional ways of addressing such problems always put forwarded as a solution at the expense of going through formal system. Despite all these trial and measures taken by women workers and supervisors, problems still exist and evolving over time. The study finds out that lack formal system to respond intertwined with the sectors the problems perpetuated silently.