Gender-based violence is common, not only in homes but also in workplaces. In Canada, half of all women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16, and more than two-thirds of Canadians say they personally know at least one woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse. Recently, domestic violence reports have increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Preventing gender-based violence requires attentively mitigating harmful gender norms, such as through public education and workplace programming.
Below, we’ve curated a collection of our best research and insights on this subject.
Harassment and violence in the era of #MeToo
In 2016, 4% of Canadian women reported being sexually harassed in the workplace, compared with less than 1% of men. Due to underreporting, however, these numbers may be higher. Certain groups of women are more vulnerable than others: Aboriginal women were more likely to report sexual harassment at work than non-Aboriginal women (10% versus 4%), and lesbian or bisexual women were more likely to report having experienced sexual harassment than heterosexual women (11% versus 4%).
Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. Aboriginal women, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis women, are six times more likely to be killed by their partners than non-Aboriginal women. Transgender people are almost twice as likely to report experiencing intimate partner violence than cisgender women and men.
Because sexual harassment and violence are underreported—often due to fear of professional retaliation—it is difficult to combat. Groups that are already marginalized along lines of race and citizenship are less likely to report harassment and violence. As a result, harassment and violence can become a normalized part of everyday life.
Robyn Doolittle on sexual harassment and organizational culture
In this video, Robyn Doolittle, journalist and author of Had It Coming: What’s Fair in the Age of #MeToo?, discusses how organizational culture can facilitate sexual harassment, and how to move forward to make change.