News / USA

Sexual Harassment Looms Larger Than Cain in US

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington, November 4, 2011.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington, November 4, 2011.

While Republican party presidential hopeful Herman Cain continues to dismiss accusations of sexual harassment in his past, his uncertain political plight has become a main focus of American media.  Advocates say the issue is very important and also goes beyond just politics.

Herman Cain is the latest in a long line of prominent U.S. politicians to face repeated accusations of sexual harassment.

At least three women have accused the former pizza magnate of sexual harassment during the 1990s when he was the top lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association.

Former Democratic U.S. President and Arkansas governor Bill Clinton was for years the focus of a sexual harassment lawsuit by former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones.

Former Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley resigned in 2006 after it was disclosed he was sending sexually explicit emails and text messages to teenage interns.

At the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, Fatima Goss Graves says it is very important for voters to get clear records on politicians and any sexual harassment.

She says the issue also goes much further. “I am interested in knowing what the reaction is to harassment, what employees are saying that they think they should be doing about harassment, what policy makers are saying they should do about it. I do not think that that is where the conversation has been unfortunately,” said Graves.

Graves points to the hearings 20 years ago involving then Supreme Court nominee, now Justice, Clarence Thomas who faced accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace from Anita Hill.

The hearings were immediately followed by nearly double the amount of usual sexual harassment charges and new laws against workplace discrimination.  

But advocates say these laws do not go far enough. Lisa Maatz from the American Association of University Women also says in difficult economic times, like now, victims are often afraid to come forward.

“Right now, quite frankly, a lot of women are just happy to have jobs and so the notion that they would then speak up and potentially lose that job even though such retaliation is illegal, it happens all the time, is a huge deal,” said Maatz.

Her association also just finished a new report detailing sexual harassment and bullying in U.S. schools which Maatz says has become an “epidemic”. The association is calling for education against harassment to begin at a very young age.

On the specific issue of Cain, the advocates say they hope his accusers, if they are identified, will not face what they call an onslaught of negative coverage by the media as has been the case in previous high-profile sexual harassment cases.

Cain has repeatedly denied the accusations against him. Recent polls still place him near the top of the Republican field of presidential hopefuls, two months before the Republican nominating process for the 2012 U.S. presidential election begins.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid