Lines: Be clear about your professional goals

From Ms Taqleed Sayyed
Senion HR specialist with a company in Abu Dhabi

Yes, women can be vicitms but they are also accepted as victims more often than men. If it is a case of sexual harassment or molestation, we would not question a woman’s account. Men, often, do not have that privilege. Being the gender that partially dominates the workforce, even if they are in such a situaiton, they prefer not to report it, because ‘male honour’ might be at stake. I head an HR department and we try to put up a code of ethics and a code of conduct right from gender discrimination to a certain road map for behaviour, from shaking hands to maintaining physical distances. These are just a few simple things to draw the line from the beginning — do not make comments that are too personal, on someone’s attire or gender. So, any obvious attempt to harass can be pointed to very clearly.

We, as women, are also responsible for our behaviour. When you look at some of the #MeToo allegations, you also have to look at the industry they were in and the dominant culture and behaviour. However, as a woman, I draw the line regardless of who I am dealing with. I should have a clear demarcation of my professional life and personal life and what my goals and objectives of each are. I should not mix the goals. Based on my personal experience, you need to be firm, and not entertain any form of compromise and that does lessen the chances of misbehaviour. You also need to stand up for others as well, not move back because it hasn’t happened with you.

Discomfort: Men can also be harassed but no one listens

From Mr Abdul Rahim Nasir
Marketing manager and entrepreneur living in Dubai

48 per cent of people in the US felt women make safer workplaces, according to Pew Research. People might think that based on experience, but you can’t say that women are always creating safer workspaces either. It really depends on the manager’s mentality and how you behave with your employees and there are black sheep in every community.

Women can be more emotionally intelligent so probably women can be much more easy to work with. They can also perhaps understand your situation and problem better.

However, you cannot blame one person in a situation, there are always two sides to a story. At the moment, in many cases due process of invetigation is not followed. Also, many women can make men uncomfortable but no one would believe a man. Many women have the habit of touching people while speaking, whether man or woman. This is something that can be seen by everyone, yet no one raises the issue. Everyone can see that someone is uncomfortable but no one says anything because people don’t believe it.

Nurture: Women tend to create safer workplaces

From Ms Rosa Bullock
Founder of a PR company in Dubai

I would be inclined to agree that women make a safer workplace probably because of a slightly old-fashioned understading — women have natural maternal instincts and are able to nurture more than men. But gone are the days when solely men were accussed or capable of sexual harassment. Both men and women can be guilty and it would be unfair to say otherwise.

There has to be mutual respect, it is extremely important. The same rights should apply to both men and women when they are in an uncomfortable situation, but it doesn’t happen. #MeToo has brought these issues to a talking point, where aer earlier people shied away from talking about it unless an issue was raised.


Gulf News asked: The #MeToo movementis
- achieving its purpose
- turning vindictive
- a work in progress

Social media debate:

[Facebook+pic] Laura Reichartz: I think there has to be a narrative for men to speak about it happening to them as well ... Honestly, I have seen so many men using the hashtag, it is encouraging to see their courage to come out, that they found the strength to speak out. As hard as it is for us women, imagine how hard it would be for a man to speak out. #Werise #metoo

[Twitter] Np8989: #MeToo a campaign which brought the disguised face of #Bollywood characters. What about the small town girls who faced the same problems.? #Smalltowngirls #Metoo #MetooIndia

[Twitter] @MrBrooks87: This is the train of thought that birthed the #alllivesmatter movement out of the #blacklivesmatter movement. Okay, it happens to other people too. But stay on topic. Let’s not start throwing red herrings around.

[Twitter] @RockyMarks8: The words “credible allegations” do not appear in our constitution. But “due process” does and that excludes merely credible allegations. I wish feminists would give up the fight because as a ‘hominist’, I can guarantee every feminist in America that we will never give up due process.

— Compiled by Huda Tabrez/Community Web Editor

Have Your Say: How do you think the #MeToo movement has affected the way in which cases of sexual harassment are dealt with? When women invade men’s personal space, do men have the same freedom to cry #MeToo? Share your views on