Sexual harassment in the workplace: between perceptions and reality
October 13, 2023

Sexual harassment in the workplace: between perceptions and reality

The phenomenon of sexual harassment, although it is becoming an increasingly topical topic on the public agenda, remains quite present in our society. The workplace is no exception to the places where we can face the phenomenon of sexual harassment. According to the study UNEQUAL WORK! An analysis of gender gaps on the labor market from the perspective of employers, employed and unemployed persons, carried out in 2018, the confrontation with cases of discrimination in labor relations is more specific to women. At work, 17% of female employees faced cases such as obscene gestures, inappropriate touches, jokes with sexual connotations. Quite a large number of women (8%) reported situations in which they were hugged without permission, and 2.2% faced even worse situations – requests to have sex in exchange for a reward.

The presence of the phenomenon of sexual harassment is explained by the low level of reporting of these cases. Most of the respondents would resort to avoiding the person who exhibited this behavior, rather than reporting to the management or competent bodies. Despite the fact that, among the selected solutions, 44% would make a complaint to the management, still there is a high tendency to solve the given problem on its own, by adopting a firm attitude, ignoring the behavior, resorting to threats.

Currently, the Republic of Moldova has a legal framework that provides measures to combat the phenomenon of harassment. At the same time, it does not include some structural measures to solve that problem, especially regarding the solution of subtle and average cases of harassment. It is gratifying, however, that the decision-makers, starting from the year 2023, have brought this subject back to the public agenda, where they have exposed their commitment regarding the rectification of the Convention of the International Labor Organization (ILO) no. 190 on the elimination of violence and harassment at work, which will clearly improve national legislation to combat this phenomenon at work.

In order to understand what is the current situation in Moldova regarding the manifestation of this phenomenon on the labor market, in the period December 2022-January 2023, CBS-Research, at the request of the Center for Partnership for Development, started a representative survey at the national level, to see which are the perceptions of employees regarding this phenomenon, what is its incidence among employed people and what are the responsibilities of employers in these cases, and the results of this comprehensive survey, you can find in this study.

Alexandra ERMOLENCO, Natalia COVRIG, Cristina COJOCARU, Alina ANDRONACHE, Gheorghina DRUMEA. Sexual harassment in the workplace: between perceptions and reality. Study on the perceptions and incidence of the phenomenon of sexual harassment in the workplace. Partnership Center for Development, Chișinău, 2023.


Interested in the latest news and opportunities?

This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a GOPA PACE-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.

The information on this site is subject to a Disclaimer and Protection of personal data. © European Union,