IDS Policy Briefing 195

Tackling Workplace Sexual Harassment

Published on 23 May 2022

Employment is believed to be a crucial avenue for women’s empowerment, yet widespread workplace sexual harassment undermines this in many countries.

Young and unmarried women from poor backgrounds are particularly at risk, but workplace sexual harassment is often overlooked in debates on decent jobs for youth. Based on case study research with factory and domestic workers in Bangladesh and Uganda, this briefing explains how social and gender norms constrain young women’s voices and agency in response to sexual harassment. It offers recommendations towards developing the laws, mechanisms and culture needed to reduce workplace sexual harassment and empower young women in their work.

An accessible version of this publication is also available in HTML format.

Cite this publication

Oosterom, M. et al. (2022) 'Tackling Workplace Sexual Harassment', IDS Policy Briefing 195, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/IDS.2022.026


Marjoke Oosterom

Power and Popular Politics Cluster Lead

Victoria Flavia Namuggala

School of Women and Gender Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University

Sohela Nazneen

Research Fellow

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published by
Institute of Development Studies


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