Malaysians think sexual harassment biggest issue faced by women in country; over half in Ipsos survey say comments on physical looks unacceptable
KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Among all the important issues faced by Malaysian women in the country, sexual harrassment leads the way as the top concern, according to a recent poll by market analysts Ipsos.
The study in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2022 yesterday showed that 35 per cent of Malaysian women feel that sexual harassment merits the top spot for issues women faced in the country.
Twenty-two per cent of women in Malaysia find the sexualisation of women and girls in media disconcerting, while 17 per cent of them find sexual violence the third biggest issue women in the country face.
Globally, sexual harrassment also holds the top spot among concerns among women, at 29 per cent, followed by sexual violence, at 25 per cent, and domestic abuse, at 23 per cent.
“For 2022, sexual harassment is considered a top issue, both in Malaysia and globally. However, what constitute sexual harassment will be judged differently depending on country context.
“While about half of Malaysians find it acceptable to give unrequested comments or compliments on someone’s appearance, the global acceptance for this is much lower,” Lars Erik Lie, Ipsos Malaysia’s associate director of public affairs, said in a statement today.
The survey showed that about 52 per cent of Malaysian women consider it unacceptable to send unrequested comments or compliments on someone’s physical appearance, which is twice as high as the average of other countries.
It also showed that both in Malaysia and elsewhere, men have a higher acceptance rate than women for using sexist language, sending sexual images and sharing intimate images of someone without consent.
The survey also found 49 per cent of Malaysian respondents also think that violence against women is often provoked by the victim, more than three times the share of global country average — which stands at 15 per cent.
It said that the sentiment is shared almost equally among men and women.
“Almost half of all Malaysians agree that violence against women often is provoked by the victim, far higher than the global average — notably, women are as likely as men to hold that sentiment,” Lie said.
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