Ponmalar N Alagappar

Ponmalar N Alagappar

University of Malaya | Kuala Lumpur | Malaysia

Title: Sexual harassment in healthcare


Ponmalar N Alagappar is a lecturer at University of Malaya, Malaysia and has been an educator for more than 15 years. Her doctoral dissertation is on the area of organizational behaviour focusing on sexual harassment and its impact on women. Her other areas of interest are minority studies i.e. Indigenous Community, Elderly, Malaysia Indians. She has published widely and has presented in a number of international conferences.



Sexual harassment affects a wide spectrum of people, probably the greatest proportion of the population than any other form of discrimination. It affects a significant proportion of women and their personal lives and professional functioning, thus preventing them from advancing in the workplace and affecting their fundamental rights to work with dignity. However, since violence is a sensitive subject for many and this may be the reason why it is almost universally under reported. The negative effects of sexual harassment on physical and mental health of working women have been well documented, it affects the psychological integrity of women and has serious health consequences for women. It has been found that victimized women exhibited common cognitive and emotional aftereffects similar to the victims of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Although the known problems and consequences of sexual harassment to its victims are now well documented, there still is very little research or materials that have focused on the treatment for the victim. Being able to identify the potential characteristics and treatment needs of the victim is vital for developing treatments designed to decrease the psychological effect and the emotional damage of sexual harassment. Lack of effective treatment programs means that many victims would receive normal counseling by a professional and then be allowed to continue on as usual. This study looks at the prevalence of sexual harassment in the healthcare sector and the crucial need for an effective treatment programs.