Harassment, exploitation and extortion of women in the workplace – Israa Al-Ali

Harassment, exploitation and extortion of women in the workplace – Israa Al-Ali

Harassment, exploitation and extortion of women in the workplace – Israa Al-Ali

The problem of Syrian women breadwinners and refugees in Turkey has not received the attention it deserves, so it is important to highlight the phenomenon of harassment and exploitation at work, and to actively seek to help women enter the safe labor market, combat discrimination against women in wages, and protect them from risks and sexual harassment, in order to enhance them. The resilience of Syrian women, in the face of crises, especially women deprived of education, rehabilitation and training opportunities, and the endeavor to improve their chances of accessing material resources that allow them to have a decent life with their families.

 This is a call to Syrian civil society organizations in Turkey, and all organizations, institutions, and associations concerned with women, to set their priorities in the employment of female breadwinners and support small loan projects, as studies indicate that it is the economic entry point to protect female breadwinners.

Women in the Arab region have many stories that they tell the whole world about the issue of harassment after they waged a long struggle that lasted for decades in combating the problem, and for this we must share the stories of these women more than anything else, because they can teach the whole world a lesson in the struggle.


Harassment in the workplace is what I will cover in this article

The imposition of displacement, asylum, and the absence of a breadwinner on the Syrian woman, together with laws, customs, and a new reality that is different from what she was living in in her country, and she was subjected to a strong trauma that had social, economic, psychological and moral consequences. Fits her specialization or desire, leading to her exposure to harassment and harassment at work; She cannot speak for fear of disbelief and being blamed by her family and society.

Syrian women in Turkey entered the labor market, or the labor market imposed itself on them – if we wanted to talk precisely – many women were forced to work in an attempt to overcome the burden of economic pressure on them and their families, so they did a number of jobs, some of whom were new out.

The status of Syrian working women in Turkey differed from one city to another, according to what the labor market demands, and the opportunities it also provides. It also differed according to the original social and cultural environment of the refugee woman coming from Syria. Based on this comes the importance of researching the reality of Syrian women working in Turkey, as it allows us to understand the labor market in which they move, their role in the home economy, and the problems they face on Social, cultural and economic level.

(M.W) She said: She is a Syrian girl who supports her mother and her younger sisters, and works in one of the factories in the Kutum area, and because of her need, the person responsible for her allows himself to cross his borders with her, so he tries to touch her and put his hand on her whenever he wants. The girl expressed her annoyance more than once, but he did not feel that there was any bad behavior in his behavior, considering that he was controlling her and the rest of the workers in the factory, and she knew that if he exposed his behavior, he would dismiss her.

(S.A.), a Syrian refugee in Gaziantep, was subjected to verbal harassment and blackmail by the employment official, taking advantage of her urgent need to work, and many of her asked what did he ask of her? This forced her to give up the opportunity to work, to preserve herself and her reputation and not allow her economic weakness to be exploited and to make it a gateway for harassment.

Because there are many women and girls who are subjected to harassment, exploitation and extortion in the work environment in the countries of asylum. International and local organizations are calling for legislation to guarantee the right of women to work in a world free from violence, exploitation and harassment. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the place of violence against women is in the United Nations. Work “constitutes a fundamental and wide-ranging barrier that impedes the full enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms, and that “the behaviors and practices that lead to the infliction of physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm for women and girls that harm their physical and mental health and undermine their likelihood to enter or remain in the labor market,” affirming that many women and girls “are stuck in a state of economic insecurity,” Are able to generate income or obtain social protection. 

What is harassment?

Harassment of women is any unwanted act or statement that involves a threat of violence or abuse or sexual suggestion or coercion to do something, and causes physical or psychological harm to the targeted woman or girl.

Types of harassment against women?

Females around the world are exposed to several types of harassment, the most important of which are:

Sexual harassment: It is an unwelcome sexual affinity for a request for a sexual service, verbal or physical behavior, or suggestions of a sexual nature, or forcing to view sexual content or genital organs of another person, or any other behavior of a sexual nature that takes place without the consent of one of the parties and causes it physical and psychological insult.

Ethnic harassment (due to origin or color): It is any form of discrimination or ridicule, or direct or indirect harm, due to skin color or belonging to different ethnic origins.

Stalking and tracking forcibly: by following the movement of a girl or woman and being present without her desire in all places that she goes to, harassing or flirting with her without her consent through phone calls or emails or other things.

Electronic harassment: by sending emails of a sexual nature or containing pornographic content without the consent of the other party, as well as messages that contain a threat of social or physical harm.

Harassment in the workplace: It includes harassment, sexual extortion from bosses at work, withholding promotions and linking them to sexual acts or discrimination at work due to sex, color or race, or forcing them to work under the threat of physical violence or psychological blackmail.

It is worth saying:

 Stop judging and listen, women deserve to be heard, regardless of the time and circumstances that they choose to speak. It wants nothing more than a safe work environment free from violence, exploitation and harassment.

Israa Al-Ali