The EOC and CUHK co-organise the Seminar on Enhancing Awareness of Sexual Harassment in Different Sectors
In order to promote anti-sexual harassment messages to different sectors of the society, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and the Gender Research Centre of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) co-organised the Seminar on Enhancing Awareness of Sexual Harassment in Different Sectors today (5 March 2018). Various speakers were invited to share their experience in launching anti-sexual harassment campaigns and discuss the issue of sexual harassment against women in the workplace and how to prevent sexual harassment in different sectors.
Prof Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming, Chairperson of the EOC said, “Eliminating sexual harassment has always been the EOC’s priority work. The EOC has been expanding its training and public education on sexual harassment since 2013. However, our surveys have revealed that sexual harassment is still common across different sectors. For example, according to our recently published survey, nearly 12% of interviewed female workers in the service industry have been sexually harassed in the workplace. The level of awareness on preventing sexual harassment is still quite low among different companies and organisations. For instance, one of our surveys conducted last year revealed that nearly half of the interviewed social welfare organisations have not yet developed any anti-sexual harassment policies. As the International Women’s Day approaches, the EOC and the Gender Research Centre of The Chinese University of Hong Kong decided to organise a seminar to explore how to further enhance the awareness on sexual harassment issues across different sectors. Today, it is time for us to break the silence. Talking about preventing sexual harassment should no longer be a taboo.”
Prof Fanny CHEUNG Mui-ching, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Psychology, and Co-Director of Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK said, “Despite the tremendous efforts made by different sectors, the public still do not pay sufficient attention to sexual harassment issues and hold many misconceptions on sexual harassment. Not until some victims revealed recently their experience of being sexually harassed, the public spotlight is finally casted on sexual harassment issues again. I hope that different sectors of the society would continue to take sexual harassment issues seriously, including enhancing their understanding, preventing, intervening and handling such matters appropriately, and developing a fair and confidential complaint mechanism so that everyone can live in an equal, safe and respectful environment. From a broader perspective and in the long term, sexual harassment issues should not be handled solely through legal means and policies, but also by including gender rights and equality as part of our sex education.”
At the seminar, Mr CHONG Yiu-kwong, Deputy Convenor, Working Group on Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign of the EOC, shared experiences of formulating anti-sexual harassment policies in the education sector while Dr Ferrick CHU, Director of Policy, Research & Training of the EOC, talked about the insights from the EOC’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign and the cold shoulder response given to the problem of sexual harassment in Hong Kong. In order to study sexual harassment issues against women in the workplace, Prof Annie CHAN Hau-nung, Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, shared insights from a study on workplace sexual harassment against female Mainland Chinese immigrants, while Ms WU Mei-lin, Chairperson of the Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association, talked about sexual harassment in the workplace against grassroots women.
Besides, Ms Linda WONG, Executive Director of the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women, Dr Trisha LEAHY, BBS, Immediate Past President of the International Women’s Forum Hong Kong, Ms Stella Lo Sze-man, Council Member of The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries; and Ms KWAN Yuen-yuk, Rosemary, Chief Social Worker (Licensing & Regulation) of the Social Welfare Department joined the panel discussion, moderated by Prof Susanne CHOI Yuk-ping, Convenor of the Working Group on Anti-sexual Harassment Campaign of the EOC, on how sexual harassment could be prevented in different sectors.
At the Seminar, speakers and more than a hundred participants from the education, social welfare, business and sports communities held “#TIMESUP” and “# Breaking Silence (#打破沉默)” slogans to take a photograph together, in response to international anti-sexual harassment and anti-sexual assault campaigns and cheered on the support of Hong Kong’s anti-sexual harassment campaign.