Sexual Harassment Widespread in Czech Republic

A poll released last month shows that 45 percent of Czech women were approached in an improper sexual manner in the workplace. Despite the frequency of sexual harassment, women in the Czech Republic rarely report it.

Only one Czech woman, a university student harassed by her lecturer, has brought a sexual harassment case to court. The man was convicted and sentenced to eight months in prison for forcing the student to fondle his genitals. His sentence was suspended and he continues to teach at the university.

Although some try to distinguish between Western and Eastern European definitions of sexual harassment, feminists in Prague said that the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace must be acknowledged. “What is different here is that women seldom differentiate between harassment and a flirt,” said leading feminist Eva Hauserova. “But when you ask them specifically, they realize they in fact have been harassed.”


Associated Press - January 13, 2000

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