More than half of Inuit women surveyed by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada in a report funded by the federal government said they have been sexually harassed at mining sites in Canada’s Far North.
According to the report released on Wednesday by Pauktuutit, a national non-profit Inuit women’s advocacy organization, the most frequent harassment incidents directed at Inuit women were “sexual comments, jokes, unwanted touching and emotional abuse.”
Some of the Inuit reported being the subject of sexual violence as frequently as every shift. Some reported feeling particularly vulnerable because they worked in housekeeping and janitorial positions that often placed them in private areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms.
The harassed women said they had little recourse after an incident, because of the lack of Inuit female managers to talk to and the hyper-masculine work environment.
Ottawa-based Pauktuutit called for a host of changes at Canadian miners that operate in the North, including stricter enforcement of sexual harassment policies, increased hiring of Inuit women in supervisory and managerial positions, and the availability of Inuit-specific support services in metal health and counselling.
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