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(en) Leipzig.fau: Sexism at your workplace is never okay!
Fri, 16 Apr 2021 08:54:42 +0300
Our counseling on sexism and discrimination at work is still available - but now
per email, phone or video conference (whatever works best for you). Don't
hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org! ---- You will find basic
information about your rights and possible courses of action in our flyer "Sexism
at your workplace is never okay!", the text of which we publish here. ---- ----
---- Sexual discrimination ---- Do people at work treat you unfairly or belittle
you? Do they bully you or exclude you? If this happens because of your gender or
sexual orientation, it?s called sexual discrimination. There are many forms of
sexual discrimination: sometimes open, often subtle, but always firmly rooted in
social life, and thus often tolerated. People who experience workplace sexual
discrimination often remain silent for fear of attracting attention or because
they are ashamed. One in two women has already experienced sexual discrimination
at her workplace, according to a report by the International Labor Organization.
The majority of victims of sexual discrimination are women, and homosexuals,
nonbinary and transgender people also face discrimination at the workplace.
Sexism and sexual discrimination drive a wedge between workers. They prevent a
society based on solidarity.
Gender Pay Gap
In Germany, the average net hourly wage for women is 21 percent below that for
men. The difference in the rest of the EU is only 16 percent. The pay gap is
caused above all by career breaks, higher numbers of women working in low-paying
jobs, lower qualifications on average, more part-time work and fewer promotions
to executive positions.
One of the most common types of sexual discrimination in the workplace is sexual
harassment. This includes demeaning and lewd comments (such as "Come sit on my
lap!"), unwelcome touching, sexual propositions, transgression of personal
boundaries and workplace norms, and pornographic images that are meant to upset,
anger or humiliate women.
Nobody should feel like they have no support at the workplace, and we should all
feel responsible for creating an environment where all colleagues can feel
comfortable and where there is no room for harassment. Sexual harassment can
affect migrant workers and refugees disproportionately because of language
barriers, their legal status and racism.
Anti-discrimination law (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG)
Germany?s anti-discrimination law is meant to protect against discrimination
based on sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, disabilities and
age. Harassment is also recognized as a form of discrimination.
Are you experiencing sexual discrimination at your workplace?
* Say "no" loud and clear.
* Use physical force if necessary.
* Note the date, place and time of the incident. (This can be used as evidence in
case legal action is taken.)
* Find witnesses and record their statements.
* Confide in someone you trust at work or a member of your union.
* Complain to your boss and demand that harassment be prevented in future.
* Ask us for advice.
Have you witnessed sexual discrimination at your workplace?
* Pay close attention.
* Help affected colleagues defend themselves.
* Find allies.
* Don't laugh when colleagues make fun of others.
* Talk openly with your colleagues about sexual discrimination.
* Offer to go get advice together with the affected person.
From maternity protection to minijobs
Mothers-to-be have special legal protection in Germany. However, other social
security benefits that follow up on maternity protection tend to tie woman
workers to the home, turning them into housewives rather than protecting their
rights at the workplace. Women are promoted less often because of the possibility
that they might get pregnant. Women also tend to get transferred within companies
after their parental leave is over. And women in general work in low-paying jobs
more often than men. Women today might go back to work sooner than ever after
childbirth, but they are still especially at risk for poverty. The legislators
force many women into jobs where they do not earn a living wage. They then become
financially dependent on social security or their partner.
We demand comprehensive protection for all mothers-to-be and guaranteed child
care after birth, which will make returning to work easier for all parents.
Maternity protection laws (MuSchuG, Mutterschutzgesetz)
A pregnant woman can take leave for the last 6 weeks of pregnancy and does not
have to work until 8 weeks after birth. She is entitled to continued pay during
this period without deductions. She cannot be fired during her entire pregnancy
and for four months after birth.
A fighting union ...
... allows us to collectively take action against sexism and sexual
discrimination at our place of work and beyond.
Laws have changed in recent years, allowing victims to take effective legal
actions against sexual discrimination. Harassment at work can lead directly to
criminal charges, depending on the severity of the discrimination. Bosses are
also obliged to take action against discrimination. If they do not, then you can
sue them for damages.
The FAU is a union that fights for the idea of a society based on solidarity.
Taking action against sexism is not only an important task in the present, but
also an integral part of any emancipation, which we as workers can only achieve
collectively. We must take our responsibilities seriously and demand respect for
ourselves and for our colleagues. You don?t have to fight alone!
FAU Leipzig | AG fem
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