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

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
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.

AppleAndroid