University fires five lecturers over sexual harassment; dismisses dress code as factor
- "The forms of sexual harassment involve lecturers to lecturers, students to students as well as administrators/ lecturers to students," the administrator added.
- Issues such as missing marks have been linked to most lecturer-student sexual relationships.
Uganda's oldest institution of higher learning Makerere University has sacked at least six staff members over sexual harassment.
The six- one subordinate staff and five teaching staff- were reportedly involved in sexual harassment scandals between 2018 and 2022.
According to the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate Dr Euzobia Mugisha Baine, the university has been probing 30 recorded cases of sexual harassment.
"Six cases have been dismissed, one case was acquitted, five cases were investigated to the conclusion and these involve three staff and two students, while the rest are still under investigation," Dr Baine stated during a Thursday media briefing.
In 2019, six cases were reported, five in 2020, six in 2021, seven last year and in 2023 alone there have been six cases.
"The forms of sexual harassment involve lecturers to lecturers, students to students as well as administrators/ lecturers to students," the administrator added.
Issues such as missing marks have been linked to most lecturer-student sexual relationships.
The directorate further dismissed claims that student dress codes have contributed to sexual harassment cases.
"If you reduce the problem of sexual harassment to dress code, it means that you are reducing a problem in just appearance and yet when you are wearing a hijab, it does not mean that you are immune to sexual harassment," she added.
To curb the vice, Dr. Baine announced the introduction of a digital-based method of uploading all student results online, making them easily accessible.
Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe promised to create safer spaces to allow more victims report sexual harassment cases without fear.
The university defines sexual harassment as "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours or unwanted physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature."
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