Survey: Half of Israeli women and 70% of teen girls are victims of sexual harassment

"The figures indicate that much work still lies ahead. We, the women, have to continue fighting, despite the small victories that we record here and there,” says president of NA'AMAT Israel.

March 8, 2016 15:56
2 minute read.
Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment victim [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INIMAGE)

One out of every two adult women in Israel and some 70% of teenaged girls have been sexually harassed, according to a new study released by Na’amat, the movement for working women and volunteers in Israel, on International Women’s Day.

The study, one of adults and one of youth, aimed to assess the phenomenon of sexual harassment among females of all ages.

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According to the findings, 50% of adult women were harassed at least once in their lives, while nearly a third said they had been harassed on a number of occasions.

In contrast, one out of every 10 men responded that they had been sexually harassed at least once.

A fourth of respondents reported receiving offensive sexual messages online.

The survey also found that almost a third of the respondents – 23% of women and 37% of men – placed blame on the woman for a sexual assault if she were “acting in a provocative manner.”

With regard to youth, the survey found that 68% of girls responded that they were harassed by a man they didn’t know on the street at least once, while 45% said this happened more than once.

Furthermore, 47% of boys admitted that they had shouted out to a woman or girl that they didn’t know on the street. Some 34% said they had done this more than once.

A little over a third of youth – both boys and girls – said that if a woman acts or dresses provocatively then she shares in the blame of sexual assault. Only 53% of youth feel that only the attacker is to blame in the case of sexual assault.

The survey also aimed to address the attitudes of youth towards the notion of feminism, which youth primarily associated with “power” and “standing up for rights.”

Overall, the study found some 52% of youth associated feminism with positive characteristics, while 20% attributed to it negative characteristics.

Nearly half of girls, 47%, and 22% of boys said they would call themselves feminists.

However, of these only 55% of girls and 60% of boys said they would openly present themselves as such.

“The figures indicate that much work still lies ahead. We, the women, have to continue fighting, despite the small victories that we record here and there,” said Galia Wolloch, president of Na’amat Israel.

“As long as women are harassed, threatened, sexually assaulted, discriminated against and marginalized we must continue to hold up a mirror to society and to loudly and unapologetically demand the right to a life of safety in the personal and public domains, and for real equal opportunities in the work force that also includes a work environment free from harassment,” she said.

The survey of adults was conducted by Midgam among 500 respondents on February 25, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 4.4%.

The youth survey was conducted among 425 respondents aged 12 to 17 on the 24-25th of February, 2016. The margin of error is +/- 4.8%.

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