Amrai Pari Paribarik Nirjaton Protirodh Jot (WE CAN)

Launching ceremony of ‘Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment’ Policy at PSTU

On 22 June, 2022 the launching ceremony of ‘Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment’ policy was held in Patuakhali Science and Technology University. The program was jointly organized by PSTU, SUVO and WE CAN under the project ‘Combating Gender Based Violence in Bangladesh’ funded by Global Affairs Canada and UN Women Bangladesh.

Professor Dr. Swadesh Chandra Samanta, the Honorable Vice Chancellor of PSTU, was present as the Chair of the program. Besides that, Swadesh Kumar Basu, Proctor of University, Toshiba Kashem, Project Coordination Analyst-EVAW, UN Women, Jinat Ara Haque, Chief Executive, WE CAN, Hasina Begum Nila, Executive Director, SUVO and the deans and students of various faculties were present physically in the ceremony. Mouly Azad, Deputy Director, UGC and Farzana Sultana, Development Advisor, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) were connected through zoom. The program was hosted by the Sujon Kanti Mali, Associate professor of Biochemistry and Food Analysis Department and the focal of Sexual harassment prevention committee of PSTU.

According to 2009 Highcourt rule, every educational institute must establish an anti sexual harassment policy. We CAN tried to strengthen the institutional capacity of 6 different educational institutes to develop the policy under the CGBV project. The PSTU is the fifth educational institute where WE CAN develop the Sexual Harassment Prevention policy successfully.

In the ceremony Professor Dr. Swadesh Chandra Samanta, the Honorable VC of PSTU said, that among 52 public and 108 private universities, 42 public and 70 private universities have sexual harassment prevention committee. He felt that there should have a law to prevent Sexual Harassment and ensure the full of its implementation.

Mouli Azad, Deputy Director of UGC found that many sexual harassment prevention committees are formed with incapable person. She requested to include the gender expert in these committees.

Before the CGBV project, a survey was conducted in PSTU where 85% students said that they had no idea to go anywhere if sexual harassment incident is occurred. Toshiba Kashem,, Project Coordination Analyst-EVAW, UN Women hoped that this policy and committee would play a vital role for the students.

Jinat Ara Haque, Chief Executive, WE CAN mentioned that the policy is firmly necessary for the administration of University. This is helpful to investigate and disposal of any sexual harassment cases easily maintaining the Highcourt rules under the policy.

The ceremony is ended with the declaration of ‘Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment’ Policy.

  Date: 22 June, 2022 Places: VC Lounge, Patuakhali Science and Technology University