Preventing Sexual Harassment in Universities
Reaching out to youth is a cornerstone of interventions aiming at preventing violence against women and one of the strategic priorities of the United Nations Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign to End Violence against Women. Since 2012, UN Women has been working on preventing sexual harassment in the tertiary level institutions of Bangladesh.
UN Women is working with four universities in Bangladesh — East West University, Jahangirnagar University, Rajshahi University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology –to make tangible changes to improve campus safety and address gaps in sensitivity and awareness on sexual harassment through Sexual Harassment Prevention Committees (SHPC’s). It helped the universities form multi-stakeholder alliances of students, teachers, staff to deliver support services & prevent sexual harassment.
Till now, students, faculty and administration, in each of the four participant institutions have increased capacity in developing an overall strategy for engagement with the educational community to be active in addressing and prevention of sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence. The programme created links with the SG's UNiTE campaign and more specifically, in the prevention pillar, with the project’s principle student activation groups in the campuses as central agents of change. Each year, during 16 days of Activism, youth were encouraged to use their knowledge, creativity and influence in their communities to challenge gender stereotypes and behaviors that can lead to violence, more specifically sexual harassment.