Over one-third of female workers experience unwelcome comments on appearance
SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- More than 36 percent of working women have experienced unwelcome comments on their physical appearance at the workplace, a survey showed Tuesday, indicating women are more frequently exposed to gender-based workplace violence than men.
In the survey released by the pro-labor civic group Gabjil 119, 23.1 percent of respondents, both male and female, said they have experienced unwelcome comments about their appearance.
The proportion of female workers who responded that they have experienced such offensive comments at the workplace was much higher at 36.3 percent than that of men at 13.2 percent.
The survey was conducted by Embrain Public on 1,000 workers from Oct. 14-21 and released by the civic group to mark International Women's Day on March 8.
The survey also showed 22.8 percent of female workers have experienced "disparaging" comments on their physical appearance and 24.4 percent have experienced "intrusive" remarks.
The corresponding rates among male workers were 17 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.
"The control of employees' appearance at the workplace, inflicted on female workers on the basis of gender superiority, causes psychological pain and constitutes a heavy burden," labor lawyer Kim Han-wool said.
A female worker testified about her experiences of workplace violence during a press conference by Gabjil 119.
"You have a nice body and a pretty face, but why don't you have a boyfriend?" or "I would have had a go at you and married you if I were younger by a few years" were some of the offensive comments she frequently heard at her workplace, she said without giving her name.
She eventually had to be treated with medication, filed a sexual harassment complaint and sought help from the civic group.
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