Necuvinte Association has conducted a survey in the month of August, 2019, in order to identify whether young girls are aware of notions such as gender-based discrimination and harassment, through applying an online questionnaire to 100 women, aged 18-30, who are currently or former students, from the urban areas.
The answers to the question related to understanding the concept of gender-based discrimination reveal that 98% of the respondents are aware of the phenomena, while 2% do not know what the notion refers to. As for the personal experience, 52,9% out of the total participants responded that they have never felt discriminated, while the other 47,1% responded that they have been through such discriminatory processes.
A part of the respondents have shared the situations in which they have felt like victims of gender-based discrimination:
- Most of the times, I have experienced gender based discrimination when I wanted to do things considered “for men”. (Like the time when I went to the car service and I was “welcomed” with a very bad and ironical attitude from the men working there).
- Too many to count but the one that i hate most was when I had to stop learning a trade I liked because my boss decided to sexually harass me. I didn’t feel safe enough after to continue going there. He didn’t touch me, but he had some very explicit sexual propositions for me.
- My cousin and I grew up together and I always had to give up on things that I wanted so he could have them because “I was a girl and he was a boy and I needed to be the understanding one”.
- It often happens in schools or working environments, where each gender is getting specific assignments based.
- I mostly got restrictions on clothing and I have been told that I can’t wear some clothes because they were not “ok” for my gender, even though they were either unisex or eventually made for my gender.
- In my faculty, we were mostly girls (there were only 4 boys in a group of 40 people) so basically even if we (the girls) knew first the answers or had better answers or it was our turn to say something, when a boy opened his mouth, he was the one that had the right to speak, to win the points, to get the better grade and so on – and that was obviously the decision of the teacher (they were also just men). Now, at work, I am also the only girl in the office and all the time when someone comes in here for information or to get something cleared, they just watch me and watch them and then they choose to go on their side of office. Most of times they just come back, but it’s annoying as fuck :).
- “That kind of job is not suited for women, you should do something else”.
- I would like to choose one particular situation which was with one of my bosses: his entire team had 14 women and 3 guys, and he was basically making sex jokes always, discriminating females when they were doing the slightest mistakes and furthermore, he was divorced but had a girlfriend and he was talking really rude to her and about her in front of us.
- People were still telling me that a certain profession is not for me because only men do it.
- I was in a car accident, my fault, and the (male) driver told me to learn how to drive, especially because I am a woman. My boyfriend parents claim I should be everywhere with him and not go anywhere without him (they also think I should get involved in personal projects less and have more “woman-like” activities around the house).
- When one of the pipes in the apartment I live in broke, I tried calling the administer (a he) and explaining the situation (I’m good with pipes) and he didn’t believe me, nor did he do something to help me (a 5th call did the trick). Then there was some exams in school, where some female teachers preferred the guys instead of the girls. So it was like I didn’t exist sometimes.
- People judge me when I tell them that I drink alcohol, saying that it’s not normal for a woman to drink, because that’s not what women do.
- I have been told that I was not to be accepted in an internship not because I didn’t have the required studies and skills, but because I was a pretty girl and the man in charge had a different agenda for me.
- I heard everyday that I’m not a good driver because I am a woman. That I’m not powerful because I am a woman. I’m too sensitive and another things.
- It was about a job when someone from HR said something like “we really need a boy for this position because girls are too sensitive and stubborn”.
- I have been told that I can’t do something because I am a woman.
- It occurred during an interview for a post as an intern within the Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of Romania. Throughout the interview, the department director conducting it made overt sexist statements, made sexual comments with respects to my physical look, and expressed the desire to bring me under his control. Following the interview, I was receiving calls and messages from the same individual being insistent.
- Not something specifically, but the way they marginalize and just don’t interact with them.
- I am a medical student and I have experienced gender based discrimination during rotations at surgical fields, and I was told that I should not become a surgeon because I am woman.
- Probably, but as it is a rather ingrained issue in our society it is hard to pinpoint a specific event.
- I’ve experienced gender-based discrimination mostly during high school, given the fact that I was a Romanian student in a Muslim high school. The gender based selective behavior was presented to us, Romanian girls, as being part of the Muslim religion and culture.
- At a certain time, I wanted to get a job and I have been told that it is an inappropriate one for a woman, because men think more practical and the jobs that they available for women are in a different field of activity.
- Experienced discrimination on a personal level, the type which is most often not easily perceptible. As in considering talkative and courageous as being overbearing and bossy. And other traits that are perceived only through lenses which primarily use as a standard the traditional separation of masculine-feminine, determined, of course, by a male dominated society.
As for the questions related to understanding the concept of gender-based harassment, 95,1% out of the total number responded that they do know what it refers to, while 4,9% were not aware of the phenomena.
The next question’s purpose was to identify how many of the women participants in the survey had personal experiences related to gender-based harassment: 56,9% responded affirmatively, while the rest of 43,1% have never encountered such situations.
Regarding the personal experiences of cyberstalking, only 42,2% out of the girls responded that they have been through this process, while the rest of 57,8% responded that it had never happened to them.
A part of the respondents have shared the situations in which they have felt like victims of gender-based harassment or cyber-stalking:
- It happened back when I was working on my bachelor thesis, when some guy followed me on Instagram, like almost all of my pictures and they began texting we super weird stuff, like the fact that he knew that I was home alone, knew what I was doing, even though there were only 3 or 4 people who had these pieces of information and had no connection whatsoever with that guy…it was so creepy.
- Being cursed at repeatedly for not being willing to go on dates with complete strangers. Mostly creepy dudes being pushy with their interactions and trying to get it their way.
- Being harassed on the street, in the club, cyber-stalked by men trying to interact with me.
- I experience gender-based harassment almost daily, when I’m on my way to work. There are a lot of homeless people living in my neighborhood so almost daily one of them follows me on my way to the bus station, if he’s already there he’s just saying mean stuff or dirty stuff to me and some days, he even follows me on the bus :). A few days ago, for example, I even took the bus and when I saw he was still watching me and taking the same bus, I asked the driver to open the bus door and I just went out again. When it comes to cyber-stalking, now I don’t really experience it so much because I just got angry at some point and I started to block everyone I though was suspicious. But yes, in the pas, I received randomly dick pics from ex work colleagues or I got spammed with pick up lines or I even got a guy that followed all the events I was interested to on Facebook, in order to appear there in real life :). I blocked him too and I didn’t leave the house for a month to socialize anymore.
- I once experienced a man following me half of the road home, then he put himself in the middle of a lonely road and didn’t let me go. He grabbed me in his arms keeping me tight, and after a lot of begging, he let me go.
- Well, I think this goes for most women on social networks (even for some men). You don’t accept one’s friend request, but you get messages like: hey.. Hey.. Hey.. You single? You hot (and other sexual things). Speaking of which, today I was called by an unknown number (I don’t give my number away to anyone) and on the line there was a guy who was masturbating while I asked him who he was. When I gave my phone to one of my guy friends, he instantly hung up.
- I have experienced street sexual harassment, especially in public transport.
- Nothing big, just guys that kept sending me messages until I blocked them.
- Nothing outstanding, just the usual whistling and ‘sweet talking’ on the street.
- Lots of guys on social media do not know how to take no for an answer and they kept bullying me even after I explicitly asked them to stop texting me. In addition to this, there is the street harassment, which occurs almost on a daily basis.
- Pictures of me and my friends, posted on other social media pages. Pictures of me and my friends taken from social media and used as material for photo album marketing.
- A couple of years ago, a man attacked me on my street. He put his hand on my ass and my body. I run and I escaped. Something like this happened in the bus as well.
- I have been multiple times honked at/whistled at on the street, even slapped on the bottom, during the day. I was not wearing indecent clothes, it just happened for no reason.
- Revenge porn, catfishing.
- I have experienced verbal harassment on the streets.
- Catcalling, insisting men trying to ‘just talk’.
- One boy replied with a rude comment to one of my photos. I chose to remove it the second I saw it. This was, for him, an excuse to curse at me and call me names, saying that girls should always listen to what a man has to say about her, even if it’s not nice or easy to hear.
- I’ve had the experience of a blackmail because I have exchanged some nude photos with a guy, who spoke very nicely to me, and who made everything look safe, hiding his ulterior intention of blackmailing us, on Snapchat, but after he asked of me to do things I did not want to do, he became manipulative and emphasized that he would tell everyone how we made this for money.
- I experienced cyber-stalking. Some people from foreign countries gave me weird messages. Although i was not interested, they insisted and they were rude and harassing.
- After rejection, guys on social media turn even aggressive, insistently contacting me or even threatening. They use offensive language and try to diminish your value as a human being. Also in the street, where women face a hell of a situation, they must always carefully consider what they wear and even how they react to improper behavior, so as not to further provoke the aggressor. I’ve been groped and my ass has been touched so many times. In the clubs, in the streets, in any crowds.
As for the last question of the survey, regarding how many gender-based discrimination/harassment actions are being reported, only a 15,7% of the women responded that they took measures, while the rest of 84,3% did not.