At the dialogue (Photo: P.H)
Under the dialogue which was was held on November 30th at Hanoi University by the Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender - Family - Women and Adolescents (CSAGA), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP), delegates discussed sexual harassment behaviors at working places; ways to respond sexual harassment behaviors, and schools’ and businesses’ viewpoints in tackling sexual harassment.

In particular, the campaign “16 days of action on eliminating violence on women and girls” carried out by CSAGA and partners since 2015, the dialogue looked towards to eliminate blaming victims.

Talking at the dialogue, Nguyen Van Anh, CSAGA Director, said that sexual harassment can be seen everywhere with everyone. “Most sexual harassment victims do not seek support as a majority of communities blame the victims, which make them ashamed and suffer,” she said.

Recognising sexual harassment behaviors, according to Cao Thi Hong Van, Vice President and Secretary-General of the Vietnam Association For Women Entrepreneurs, they include those by contact as deliberate touching, stroking, pinching, sexual assault or rape; verbal harassment, including inappropriate social, cultural, and unwelcome comments, with sexual implications such as sexually suggestive jokes; and non-verbal behavior, including unwanted behaviors such as body language, provocation, improper expression, erotic look, continuous blinking, or finger gestures.

A study by Plan International (PLAN), an international non-governmental organization that develops child-centered communities and works in 48 countries, showed that 31% of adolescent girls and teenagers were sexually harassed in public places and on public transport, 11% of students in 30 high schools in Hanoi suffered from sexual harassment.

Ms. Cao Thi Hong Van said that the study shows sexual harassment in Vietnam is a problem. She added that in order to solve this situation, individuals must first raise their awareness, change their cultural thinking and spread to the community. “Sexual harassment victims should have a clear attitude and seek the help and support of witnesses,” she suggested. “If they successfully gather the evidence, the victims can send a denunciation to agencies, unions, authorities.”

Ms. Van also called on all people to jointly push back the sexual harassment in which she stressed the role of men as pioneers to speak out against and prevent sexual harassment./.