More than one in ten working women says she has had to deal with violence or the threat of violence at work during the past year, according to the results of a working life survey published on Sunday by SAK, Finland’s largest blue-collar union federation.
The union confederation interviewed just over 1,000 respondents for its working conditions barometer and found that women said they encountered violence or the threat of violence twice as often as their male colleagues.
The situation was worst among women working in the public sector as well as among women in private sector service jobs. However women employed in the industrial and transport sectors reported fewer instances of workplace abuse.
"The majority of violence comes from customers. SAK women who faced violence included practical nurses, sales personnel and waiters," SAK lawyer Paula Ilveskivi said in a statement on Sunday.
"Gendered professions account for most of the gender difference in violence experienced [at work] Other research supports the results of our survey, which indicates that women face more violence than men in their working life, while men encounter more violence during their leisure time," Ilveskivi added.
SAK surveyed 1,202 union members between January and March for the survey. The confederation said that it is important to discuss violence on the job on the occasion of the UN’s day for the elimination of violence against women, which is observed on 25 November.