A Disturbing Amount of Women in Japan Have Been Sexually Harassed at Work

A study by the Japanese government finds that nearly a third of working women in Japan report having been sexually harassed in the workplace.

The data comes from a survey conducted by the Japanese labor ministry of more than 9,700 working women ages 25 to 44, reports the Wall Street Journal. The response rate was 18 percent.

Twenty-nine percent of the respondents reported having experienced sexual harassment at work.

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The most common type of harassment, at 54 percent, involved a woman’s appearance or age becoming the focus of conversation. The next most common type of harassment, at 40 percent, was unwanted physical touching. Following third at 38 percent were sexual-related questions.

Twenty-seven percent of the respondents reported being asked out on dates, and about 17 percent said they had been sexually propositioned.

More than 63 percent of respondents said they kept instances of workplace sexual harassment directed at them to themselves. Of those who did complain, about one in 10 said they experienced some form of punishment or backlash for speaking up.

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“Maternity harassment” was also found to be prevalent, with 20% of the respondents reporting that they had been harassed after revealing their pregnancies.

Women occupy very few work leadership positions in Japan. The country ranks 101st out of the 145 nations ranked on gender equality by the World Economic Forum, which calculates its rankings based on economic, educational, political and health-based scores.

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