The focal points of the UNSTIM Gender Observatory held a working session on Thursday 11 August 2022 to formalise their decision-making body. The objective is to put in place the necessary mechanisms for a relentless fight against sexual harassment in public and private universities in Benin.
Sexual harassment is a widespread phenomenon in Benin. In the university environment, it gradually eats away at the victimised students, undermining their studies and mortgaging their future, with psychological and moral consequences that are sometimes incurable. Faced with this tragedy that inhibits the development of the nation, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Mesrs) has launched an assault on sexual harassment in high places of learning to, if not eradicate it, reduce its momentum.
The number of victims is in the tens and the circle is growing every year. In both public and private university settings, the phenomenon is commonplace and continues to grow. It is to this fight that the government has been working for several years through the establishment of legal frameworks, laws and authorities in the universities to enable them to fight effectively against this scourge. At the National University of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (UNSTIM), this is now a reality with the creation of the Gender Observatory. For Professor Joachim Djimon GBENOU, Vice-Chancellor of the said university who really values this, there is no question of letting this problem hinder the development and blossoming of women, future executives of Benin.
The gender focal points of the different UNSTIM entities held a working session on Thursday 11 August 2022. During the session, it was a question of studying the draft decrees on the Attribution, Organisation, and Functioning and the appointment of the members of the Gender Observatory and the draft guide of procedures of denunciation, management and prevention of cases of sexual harassment at Unstim. Led by the Secretary General of UNSTIM, Mrs Alexandrine HOUINATO, the discussions were very rich in proposals from both sides. “These exchanges on the issue will enable us to reduce the phenomenon every year in our university,” she said.