• Oct 13, 2021 . 1 min Read
  • First Lady commends Makerere on sexual harassment

First Lady Mrs Janet Museveni
John Masaba
Journalist @New Vision

The First Lady, Mrs Janet Museveni, has commended Makerere University for its efforts to end sexual offences in educational institutions.

“I applaud Makerere University’s willingness to acknowledge the existence of this vice at the university and appreciate the work you are doing to create a safe environment for learning and working by instituting policies and structures to combat the vice,” Mrs Museveni, who is the Minister of education and sports, said.

“I also thank the university for always pursuing solutions to society’s challenges through research.”   

She noted that over the years, there has been an increase in the number of cases of sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation reported, not only within universities but also in other institutions.

This, she said, is a major issue that creates a hostile education and work environment.

Mrs Museveni's remarks were contained in a speech read for her on Wednesday, by the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, at dissemination of research findings of the KISH project at Makerere University.

KISH, which stands for Kicking Sexual Harassment out of Higher Institutions, is a government-funded project for addressing sexual harassment in higher education Institutions in Uganda. 

It is run by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

According to preliminary findings of the project about sexual harassment at the university, over 75% of staff (male and female) said there was sexual harassment at the university while 80% of students held a similar view. 

The report said the common victims were female students while perpetrators were male staff and students.

The report also said over 80% of female staff and 91 female students were victims of sexual harassment although most did not report the problem.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Museveni said the project’s innovations, among which is a facility that enables victims to report harassment online, is a timely initiative, 'especially in this day and age when everything is going digital'.

“We have to acknowledge the fact that our children, who are the most vulnerable to the vice, spend most of their time on the internet, and therefore, creating a system that they can easily access fast and safely report is highly commended,” she said.  

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