Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 325–336 | Cite as

Sexual Harassment at Work Among Tunisian Women Physicians

  • Najla HalouaniEmail author
  • Rahma Damak
  • Sahar Ellouze
  • Fadwa Charfeddine
  • Chaima Rachdi
  • Jihen Aloulou
Original Paper


Sexual harassment at work is receiving increasing attention, particularly as women’s participation rates in the labor force increase. The purpose of this study was to evaluate women doctors’ perception of sexual harassment (SH) and assess SH prevalence in this population, compared with a control group. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of Tunisian women doctors compared with a control group. We used a questionnaire exploring the knowledge of the participants about SH and personal experience. 154 women received the questionnaire. The response rate was 62.3% (65 women doctors and 31 non-medical women). Only 32.3% of female physicians were able to provide a formal definition of SH versus 22.6% in the non-physician group. We didn’t find a difference between the two groups concerning the perception of nonverbal forms of SH. Doctors said they were more victims of SH at work than non-medical women (27.7% vs. 16.1%). We found a statistically significant relationship between being a witness of SH and being a victim of SH at work in the group of doctors. Most women in Tunisia do not seem to recognize SH. Therefore, studies on a larger scale as well as educational and informative campaigns seem to be necessary.


Sexual harassment Women physicians Legislation Culture 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in our study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the national (Tunisian) research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Najla Halouani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rahma Damak
    • 2
  • Sahar Ellouze
    • 2
  • Fadwa Charfeddine
    • 1
  • Chaima Rachdi
    • 2
  • Jihen Aloulou
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychiatry B DepartmentHedi Chaker University HospitalSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Razi Psychiatry HospitalManoubaTunisia

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