Sexual abuse is sexual behavior or a sexual act forced upon a woman, man or child without their consent. It is an act of violence which the attacker uses against someone they perceive as weaker than them. It is a crime committed deliberately with the goal of controlling and humiliating the victim.
On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at the Institute of Continuing Education, Main Campus, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) organized a one-day workshop with various stakeholders from the University to discuss the draft of a policy aimed to end sexual abuse and harassment challenge in the university grounds.
Opening the workshop on behalf of the vice chancellor, Principal of the College of Agriculture, Prof. Bernard Chove said the policy is important especially in this period of time whereby the government of the United Republic of Tanzania has taken various action against sexual harassment and abuse in various places in the country including the Universities.
Prof. Chove used the opportunity to urge all stakeholders who attended the workshop to give their constructive comments, ideas and opinions in order to help in improving the policy for the benefit the university community and general public.
In turn, Senior Lecturer from the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Dr. Fatihiya Massawe who is also a team leader of a project which aims to make the workplace safe from sexual harassment assured the participants that when the policy is finalized it will help staff and students and others to gain knowledge and understanding on how to protect themselves from sexual abuse and harassment.
“It is our hope that once this policy is completed, the issue of sexual abuse and harassment will no longer exist because students, staff and other stakeholders in the university will have sufficient knowledge and education on how to report such practices and be able to work according to the requirements of the Public Service Policies and Laws” said Dr. Fatihiya
Speaking at the end of the workshop, Principal of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Dr. Samwel Kabote congratulated the project's leaders who proposed the idea of developing a Sexual Harassment prevention policy at Sokoine University of Agriculture and that all comments and opinions obtained at the workshop will help greatly to end sexual abuse in our working places.
A project on how to make the work environment safe from sexual abuse is implemented by five staff and one student from Sokoine University of Agriculture. The peoject is funded by the HIVOS Foundation