Half of Maltese women ‘suffer sexual harassment’

More than half of women in Malta have been sexually harassed at work, new figures have revealed.

The survey categorised harassment as ranging from inappropriate jokes to physical assault.

Of the women asked, 53% said they had experienced some form of harassment in the workplace, according to research by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

A conference in Valletta heard as many as three quarters of women in management admitted they had suffered sexual harrasment at work.

Malta’s minister for equality Helena Dalli told the seminar: ‘We cannot have complete equality if we continue to accept this’.

Dr Dalli added: ‘I am sure many of us in this room have experienced some sort of inappropriate harassment in their life. We did not speak up before because the environment was not conducive enough.

‘The attitude in our days was that it wasn’t a big deal and whoever did speak up didn’t achieve anything because that was the culture.

‘However, now I believe we have brought up women who are more assertive and much more willing to speak up.’

The study also found that the risk of sexual harassment is higher for women in Malta aged under 40.

For women aged between 18- 29, the risk is double when compared to women in their 40s.

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