Chapter 12: Gendered work violence issues and mental health among Chilean women workers
Mental health issues among Chilean wage earners have been escalating over the past decade. Workplace violence and psychological harassment, widely acknowledged as major working life stressors, are a growing public health issue, viewed with increasing concern everywhere. In Chile, although the evidence shows a high prevalence of mental health and workplace violence issues among women workers, research into the links between mental health, work and gender have rarely been studied. The chapter discusses how the deep gender inequalities in the labour market – as reflected in women filling lower-quality jobs, lower-ranking positions and being more exposed to psychosocial hazards than male counterparts _ helps to explain increased exposure to workplace violence and the higher prevalence of mental health issues among women. The chapter further discusses how tradition-bound portrayals and depictions of the role of women in society can pervade organizational practices, behaviours and social interactions, shaping conditions of asymmetry and inequality that provide an environment for gender violence in the workplace. This chapter is based on a quantitative, gender-sensitive study of psychosocial hazards and mental health issues among Chilean salaried workers.
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