Women should not be blamed for harassment

Women should not be blamed for men sexually harassing them, readers say. Other views: smokers' place, Emirati quotas and school SMSs.

Readers’ views reflect this anti-harassment poster, asking “Where is the respect?” Cris Bouroncle / AFP
Powered by automated translation

Some of the reactions to Khaled Al Ameri's opinion piece (We all need to stand up when we see harassment, November 11) have attributed men's behaviour to the way women dress.

I take a lot of care to dress appropriately and behave in a way that attracts no attention, but I have still been followed around supermarkets and have had cars drive at walking pace next to me with the window open while the men inside make remarks to me in Arabic.

I have started to use earphones and music when I am alone so I don’t have to hear this. I do not feel like I will be attacked – thankfully – but it does mean I think twice about where I go and what I do.

These men do not seem to think that I am also someone’s daughter and sister, and I am sure they would not like this to happen to their own family members.

Samantha Attfield, Abu Dhabi

It is not just men that need to take a stand against this kind of behaviour. Women have to do so too.

I didn’t know this when I first came to the UAE, but learned it later, in my thirties. I decided that women – starting with me – have to call men out when they do or say anything that is inappropriate.

Otherwise, we women are contributing to the problem. Silence is not the correct response. The voice is powerful – and we women should use our voices wisely and loudly.

Dolores Basilio, US

Some women get blamed for supposedly tempting men but nobody seems to tell these men to control their feelings and take responsibility for their actions.

Try being a young western woman here. You get harassed all the time.

Lesley Snell, Dubai

Should smokers have their place?

With regard to the question whether smoking should be banned in indoor public places (The survey says: Smoking in public places in the UAE, November 12), I would say it should be banned everywhere.

It’s not just for humans. Animals should also be able to breathe clean air. They should not be victims of individuals who want to smoke.

Jen Bishop, Abu Dhabi

While it would be nice for smoking to be banned in many areas, let’s please remember that smokers should have at least some freedom to smoke somewhere.

We’re not talking about cocaine or other hard drugs.

Saif Omar Al Suwaidi, Sharjah

Don’t generalise about Emiratis

With regard to some of the responses to Peter Hellyer's article, Don't just fill quotas if you want a functional workforce (November 11), I agree that one cannot generalise about Emiratis.

I work in the commercial private sector and after a decade developing Emiratis and Saudis, my experience is that the top five to 10 per cent of Emiratis would be top performers in any company in any country.

Only the lowest-performing few reflect the stereotypes about low work ethics. In between are the vast majority of Emiratis whose work performance varies from very good to poor. I suspect that is the same breakdown one would find in almost any labour market around the world.

Adrian Waite, Abu Dhabi

I have dozens of Emiratis on my team who are exceptionally hard-working, diligent, creative and intelligent. They outshine their expatriate counterparts.

Kirstie Lawton, Abu Dhabi

As an employer, surely you should fill a vacancy with the best suited person, regardless of nationality, age or gender.

However, in all of our advertised roles, we have not had one Emirati even send in a CV. It is difficult to employ them if they don’t apply.

Brett Pearson, Abu Dhabi

If you are consistent, honest, and hardworking, you will be noticed and appreciated – regardless of your nationality or status.

Name withheld by request

SMS system can be a real lifesaver

The new alert system for missing school students (Abu Dhabi Education Council to send SMS to inform parents of children's absences, November 12) is an excellent idea.

This system has been in place in the UK for a few years and works extremely well.

Donna Hopkinson, Abu Dhabi