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Public unis lead fight on sexual harassment

Local | Jane Cheung Feb 18, 2019
Private tertiary institutions are lagging behind government-subsidized ones in policies against sexual harassment, according to a survey. The Association for the Advancement of Feminism checked policies of the eight University Grants Committee-subsidized universities and 34 other institutions on combating sexual harassment. The satisfaction rate for the universities was almost 80 percent, but only 49 percent for private institutions. The eight government-funded universities have a satisfactory performance in terms of policy implementation, policymaking and complaint handling procedures, scoring above 80 percent in these areas. They scored 65 percent for the content of their policies. However, the 10 self-financed tertiary institutions scored significantly lower than the UGC-funded schools. The association noted that some institutions, which are split up in different localities, implemented the policies in the same manner. "It's questionable whether the institution has a designated equal opportunities officer stationed on campus," said the association's project coordinator, Repona Tai Yi-lin. "It's desirable for the affiliated self-financed tertiary institutions to make separate arrangements, which could ensure good practice in policy implementation." She said some of the institutions with higher scores made it clear in their policies that sexual harassment is illegal. "Some of the institutions including Chinese University, University of Hong Kong, Polytechnic University and Education University also shed light on same-gender harassment in their policies," she said. Tai called on the institutions to offer training programs to all employees and students, and draw their attention to sexual harassment. She also recommended the Education Bureau press them to draft bilingual policies.

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April 2019