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New Film Highlights Sexual Harassment of OFWs in the Gulf

On April 4, 2011

A short film by Filipino director Kamil Roxas aims to shed light on the issue of sexual harassment faced by Filipinas in the Gulf. Women on Top is a 30-minute film produced in association with Illustrado, a Philipino lifestyle magazine based in Dubai. A recent poll of Filipine women working in the Gulf by Illustrado showed that 75% of respondents had encountered sexual harassment of some kind:

"The most shocking revelation was that sexual harassment was more widespread than what we had actually expected," said Lalaine Chu-Benitez, the magazine's publisher and editor-in-chief. "The ultimate message of the film is for Filipinas to take charge in all aspects of their lives.

"Sometimes it makes one think, are Filipinas the only ones experiencing this? Is it because people think we are timid? Does it happen to other nationalities?"

According to a recent survey on harassment for Al Aan TV's Nabd Al Arab (Arabs' Pulse) show - carried out by YouGov Siraj - two-thirds of 156 female respondents of various nationalities said they were subjected to some form of harassment in the UAE.

The incidents occurred in places such as a shopping malls, supermarkets and on the street. One-third of the women said they experienced incidents at work and one-quarter felt the degree of harassment in the UAE was increasing.

See full story in The National here.

You can watch the trailer for the film, which was screened at the Women of Substance event in Dubai on Friday.