Print Edition - 2019-02-17  |  Free the Words

Standing up

  • Letters to the Editor

Feb 17, 2019-

We, the faculty and students of Gender Studies, Tribhuvan University, are deeply concerned by the news published in daily newspapers almost everyday on cases of sexual harassments and abuse in educational institutions.

The Gender Studies Program of Tribhuvan University was established not only to prepare young academics as gender and development professionals but also as to play an active role in combating gender-based violence against women. We believe that the #MeTooNepal movement will also be a platform to communicate to perpetrators as well as to society at large that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in any form and at any cost. However it is equally important to understand that in every incident of sexual harassment or accusation to anyone (professors, staffs or students) the university and the departments concerned should investigate properly and take necessary action so that nobody is charged falsely.  

Educational institutions should have appropriate mechanisms to make the institution free from any type of harassment against powerless including sexual harassment. For example, institutions should provide awareness campaigns against harassment and develop a code of conduct for staffs, professors, and students. Such mechanisms should effectively deal with the grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when complaints arise.

Furthermore, allegations should not be linked to the socio-cultural and professional identity of the person; it should be considered purely as power play between men and women and the powerful and powerless.  There are some examples of prepreators linking their caste, ethnicity and popularity to cases that they are involved in; this simply dismisses the accusations as a  by considering it as ‘conspiracy’, thereby limiting much-needed discussion and action around the issue.

We urge the stakeholders of TU, including the Vice Chancellor, Rector, Registrar, Deans and Department chiefs, to involve themselves in consultation meetings to frame a clear  code of conduct and develop mechanisms to prevent or deal with sexual and other types of harassment within the institution. There are examples of other universities where such code of conducts are formulated and mechanisms are established.

In this context, Gender Studies Program of Tribhuvan University hopes to take a lead role in generating academic discourse, empowering victims to speak out individually or collectively and holding perpetrators accountable for their misconduct.

- Gender Studies Program of Tribhuvan University, via email

Published: 17-02-2019 11:00

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