Perception, Experiences, Risks, and Effects of Sexual Harassment Among Women Working in Hospitality Workplaces of Bahir Dar City, Northwest Ethiopia: A Qualitative Study
Background: Sexual harassment is a public health problem that depends on gender, context, and perceivers ideology. Though it grasped attention worldwide, the perception, experience, risk, and effects of sexual harassment on victims are still uncertain. Mainly, in hospitality workplaces, women employees are disproportionately victims of sexual harassment. However, the issue is at an early stage in low and middle-income countries and Ethiopia in particular. Thus, this study was aimed to explore
... aimed to explore the perception, experience, perceived risks, and effects of sexual harassment against women working in the hospitality workplaces.Methods: We conducted an exploratory qualitative study from January 1 to August 30, 2019. Data were collected from women employees, managers, cashiers, and customers. We applied a semi-structured focus group and in-depth interview discussion guides. Women employees were selected using the snowball method, and we recruited the key informants purposefully until the data theoretically saturated. Key informants who were supposed to give adequate information to study objectives were selected. The selection process of the key informants was based on their responsibility concerning women working in hospitality workplaces. Data were analyzed via the thematic analysis approach with the help of ATLAS ti version 8.4.24 software package. Results: Forty-five women, five managers, four cashiers, and four customers were included in the study. Perceptions, experiences, perceived risk factors, and consequences of workplace sexual harassment were identified. The majority of the participants lack awareness about workplace sexual harassment. The experiences were verbal, physical, visual, and gender-related forms of sexual harassment. The perceived risk factors of sexual harassment were organization related, customer-related, and victim-related. The consequences were work-related, health-related, and financial and family undermining.Conclusions: Sexual harassment is poorly understood but widely experienced by women working in hospitality workplaces. It was also caused by multiple factors and affected both organizations and individuals. Awareness creation campaigns, pre-service education, and in-service training, prevention, and rehabilitation of the victims are needed. Likewise, organizational policies and strategies should have to be developed and implemented.