Survey reveals toll of sexual harassment faced by young women

Survey reveals toll of sexual harassment faced by young women

More than two thirds of girls and young women surveyed in four countries around the world have been sexually harassed over the last six months, according to a new study.

A survey of 2,560 young people aged between 14 and 21 in Brazil, Kenya, India and the UK carried out by charity ActionAid shows how sexual harassment is a global phenomenon, blighting the daily lives of young women and girls.

Nearly three quarters of the young people of both sexes surveyed had witnessed negative or offensive attitudes towards women in the last six months. And 65 per cent of girls had been sexually harassed over that period.

Examples highlighted by survey respondents included wolf whistling, catcalling (making comments of a sexual nature), negative comments about girls’ appearance, sexual jokes, sharing explicit photos online, sexting, groping, upskirting – the practice of taking a photograph up a skirt which has recently been outlawed in the UK – and being forced to kiss someone.

Despite the worldwide Me Too and Time’s Up movements which have shone a light on the sexual harassment women face in their daily lives, the survey shows that sexist and misogynistic attitudes are prevalent around the world. 

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