Palabras clave

Academia, Género,
Derecho y Sexualidad.

The effectiveness of sexual harassment law in Chile: from theory to practice

Lidia Casas Becerra *Lidia Casas Becerra *

(*) Integrante(s) de la Red Alas.

This study examines the theoretical framework underlying Chilean legislation on sexual harassment in the workplace, notably to determine if the legislation has succeeded in uncovering and addressing the gender injustice and inequality involved in sexual harassment.This study further reviews whether the legislation adopted in 2005 is meeting its intended goal of protecting targets from harm by providing effective relief, penalizing perpetrators, and promoting adequate labour relations and climate.A combination of research methods were employed, notably a review of the legal scholarship, of Chile’s regulatory framework for sexual harassment, and of administrative and court system jurisprudence involvingtargets and perpetrators fromthe periodprior to theenactment of the legislation in March 2005 through to October 2014. Quantitative sexual harassment data were drawn from a nationwide household survey conducted in 2011 by Proyecto Araucaria (“Research, Policy and Practice With Regard to Work-Related Mental Health Problems in Chile: A Gender Perspective”)The study also includedinterviews with key informantsand focus groups with female workers.This study concludes that the debate between the equality versus protection of personal dignity paradigms is an abstract discussion not reflected in the practices of justice system actors, and that for the law to be effective, a sociopolitical and legal context facilitating recourse to it is required. Rather than considering onlythe formal resort to the relief provided in the law, it is crucialto examinethe actual practices of individuals seeking to advance the protection of their rights.


Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in partialfulfilment of the requirements for the Doctorate of Philosophy  degree in LawFaculty of Law (Graduate Studies)University of Ottawa © Lidia Cecilia Casas Becerra, Ottawa, Canada, 2016.