Top women delegates attending an annual gathering of global leaders in Davos in the Swiss Alps face being “routinely harassed” by wealthy men, The Times has revealed reporting that some businesswomen had even been alerted - for the first time this year - not to venture away from public spots after dark.
An undercover investigation by the British newspaper and Channel 4’s Dispatches into this year’s gathering has found that not only harassment and sexual abuse are rife in the landmark Swiss village during the annual event, but that there are also sex workers dispatched to the place by their managers to beckon well-off customers.
As an illustration, the newspaper cited an official forum driver as recounting how he gave a lift to a visibly distressed girl who claimed that she had been forced by her “boss” to bed a client who was much older than she had expected. In another case, a woman was reportedly seen twice entering a lavatory cubicle together with a man, while another one called himself later her “manager".
The fact that women delegates at Davos were warned that they faced risks of being subjected to sexual harassment and abuse is “a stark reminder that things have not changed”, the report suggests, even though successful women are increasingly invited to the event as a sign of greater diversity, women’s empowerment, and social inclusion.
“Davos is supposed to be a gathering of some of the most powerful people on earth, but the evidence of sexual harassment and misogyny shames all who attend and support such behaviour, as is the fact 75 percent of delegates are men", Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow called out the gathering's organisers.
This year’s annual meeting was held in mid-January, with President Trump and 17-year-old climate “warrior” Greta Thunberg among the 3,000 CEOs, activists, and other dignitaries.
Panels and talks are not typically limited to the premises of the Congress Centre, which officially hosts all formal Davos gatherings, but are scattered all around the place - in the town’s hotels, bars and specially converted shops, with the meetings likewise frequented by thousands of unaccredited guests, The Times reported.