The committee appointed to investigate sexual harassment at Makerere University has handed over the report to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.
The five member committee headed by Prof. Sylvia Tamale handed over the report on Monday, 25th June 2018.
The Committee noted that abuse of power by those holding academic and administrative authority is one of the major causes of sexual harassment at the oldest public university in Uganda..
They argued that abuse stemmed from inequalities in power and from the exploitation of such power in gender relations, lecturer-student relationships, boss-employee relationships, and socio-economic status.
The other was the university environment which is generally attuned to a patriarchal culture which stereotypes females as sexual objects and there is a campus “fraternity” culture, all of which shape attitudes that contribute to inappropriate sexual behaviour.
The report notes that the physical infrastructure and organizational environment at Makerere University is highly conducive to serial sexual harassment since most buildings do not have 24-hour security or surveillance cameras.
Prof. Tamale while speaking at the handover requested management to adhere to the recommendations of the report.
The Committee recommends several issues that need to be reviewed in the existing policy in order to make it more effective.
It also recommends expedited investigation and disposal of existing as well as new cases that may emerge. It further outlines short term and strategic actions that the university needs to take to maintain a positive working and learning environment; strengthening counselling services and allocating adequate resources for prevention, management and rehabilitation of survivors of sexual harassment; and awareness-raising and training of the university community about sexual harassment and professional conduct.
“Sexual harassment is inhumane. It is a violation of human rights and an assault to a person’s dignity” added Prof. Sylvia Tamale.
She however noted that whereas Makerere had set out to investigate the vice, it is not only a problem at the University but also occurs elsewhere in the private sector and other work environments.
Other members on committee included; Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Ag. Principal School of Law-Assoc. Prof. Christopher Mbazira, the College of Education and External Studies’ Assoc. Prof. Betty Ezati, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi.
In his remarks, Prof. Nawangwe thanked the committee for a job well done in carrying out the investigations and preparing the report in a timely manner.
“The message is clear, we are committed to stamping out this vice by ensuring that our policies reiterate our zero tolerance towards sexual harassment and make it risky for anyone to engage in it” concluded the Vice Chancellor.
Download the full report on investigation of sexual harassment at Makerere University.
You can also view the report by scrolling through the table below: