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Trade union calls for sexual harassment at work code

The passing of a law obligating employers to adopt a code dealing with sexual harassment at work has been recommended by the Cyprus’ democratic labour federation (Deok).

Their announcement on Monday followed public outcry over a series of sexual harassment and abuse reports in Greece and Cyprus after Greek Olympian athlete Sophia Bekatorou earlier this month revealed she was raped by an official member of the Hellenic sailing federation.

Deok, aligned with political party Edek, said that thousands of employees experience sexual harassment and abuse daily, while they are “staying quiet, afraid they will lose their job and their salary”.

Only a few businesses have adopted a code on how to deal with such incidents, Deok said.

The government has adopted the specific code “following pressure from trade and women’s organisations,” it added.

The federation also recommended educating and sensitising employers and employees, saying the adoption of a code would not by itself be enough to tackle sexual harassment.

The main issue “is not only to encourage and empower women to speak out and make complaints when they are sexually harassed but also to break down the wall of patriarchy and social stereotypes which still view woman as inferior to the man,” Deok said.

According to the federation, Cyprus has a lot of steps to take before achieving sexual equality at all levels.

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