Conceptualising, Defining and Measuring Sexual Harassment: an Exploratory Study in Tanzania

This project aims to understand how sexual harassment occurs and how it is perceived by and affects women in the Global South.
Project status

The research team aims to summarise current evidence on sexual harassment globally and co-produce research with women in Mwanza, that gives voice to their experiences of harassment. The aim is to develop and test a measurement tool to capture sexual harassment in different spheres of women’s everyday lives.

The ground-breaking anti-sexual assault and harassment movements, Time’s Up and #MeToo, elevated global awareness of the offending actions that women encounter in their daily personal and working lives. However, there is no clear understanding of women’s range of experiences of sexual harassment globally. The few studies conducted on sexual harassment come primarily from Europe and North America, with little attention to harassment in developing countries.

Gender equitable development and the social and political advancement of women and girls depend on females being safe at their jobs, in school or training programmes and when they seek to assert their independence and empowerment—the goal of so many development programmes. This project seeks to understand, from women’s perspectives, their experiences of harassment and the context of structural violence, culturally normative abuse, workplace gender norms and expectations in which these abuses occur. The insights, definitions and the potential ability to measure different forms of harassment will inform targeted responses to increase women’s ability to fully participate in civil society, engage in gainful employment and co-lead their households—to achieve truly equitable development.

Principal Investigator: Dr Heidi Stoeckl, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 

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