(Cairo October 12th, 2016) ECWR participates in launching a unit for combating sexual harassment at Assiut University. The event was held in the presence of Dr. Maya Morsi, President of Egypt’s National Council for Women, Mr. Alexander Pedroza, Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),His Excellency, Toro Hogg, Ambassador of Embassy of Denmark in Egypt, and Dr. Ahmed Ga’aeiss, President of Assiut University.
The launching of this Unit remarks the beginning for activating the “policies and procedures for combating sexual harassment in the University” that were initiated by ECWR in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
This unit aims at creating a safe environment on campus and providing protection against any exposure to sexual harassment. This unit offers protection to all the employees and students who suffer from gender-based harassment while they work or study.
The launching of the Unit comes also after extensive search efforts lasted for more than a year to establish the legal foundation and structure for the Unit. The research also extended to cover the complaints filing system, insurance of the confidentiality and privacy of all parties involved, punitive procedures in the Public Universities Law. This was done to insure the soundness of the legal decisions, as well as developing the basis for psychological support for the person filing the complaint, if necessary.
During this event, the university’s students presented a play entitled “Attention” as a simulation of the legal procedures and the role of the unit in combating sexual harassment, and the legal protection as stipulated by law as well as the role of the police, prosecutors and the judiciary.
Dr. Maya Morsi expressed her appreciation for the pioneering model provided by Assiut University, led by Dr. Ahmed Ga’aeiss “University’s President” and Dr. Essam Zanaty “Unit Head”. She also praised the role of Mrs. Nehad Aboel Komsan “Chairwoman of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights” in providing the framework for both the legal and practical anti-harassment model. Dr. Morsi also stressed on the need for mainstreaming the experiment through launching similar units in each university in Egypt with a specific time plan , one unit every month.
It is worth mentioning that the launching of this unit comes in conjunction with the International Day of the Girl which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on October 11 of each year.