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What is the university doing to address #MeToo concerns?


Since the #MeToo movement went viral, women across the world have shared their experiences of sexual harassment and assault both in the workplace and in their daily lives. Unequal power relations mean that the world of academia is no exception. When it comes to sexual harassment, a large number of cases go unreported, showing that we live in a culture that needs to change. 

“As Vice-Chancellor of Malmö University, I want to make it absolutely clear that I do not tolerate sexual harassment or any other form of harassment or assault in our shared environment here at the university. The culture of silence in academia needs to be broken. Let’s come together to create a culture where there is no room for this sort of thing,” says Vice-Chancellor Kerstin Tham.

Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research, recently called on university directors to chart how commonplace sexual harassment actually is in institutes of higher education.

“I will be a driving force in ensuring that we all contribute and work towards preventing and counteracting harassment,” says Kerstin Tham.

What do I do if I experience harassment?

If you experience sexual harassment or any other form of harassment as a student, your first point of contact should be a university employee in order to report the incident. If you need support or help, you can contact Student Health Services or any of the other Student Services. If you know of anyone who has been subjected to harassment, support the person by letting the university know what is happening/has happened so that the university can take measures to stop the behaviour while also offering support to the person in question.

All employees at the university has an obligation to act and investigate the circumstances as soon as they receive information about, or recognise that a student may have been subjected to harassment or abuse. Please note that the Student Health Service and Student Counselling are exempt from this obligation due to the confidential nature of their services.

Read more about the university's policy regarding equal treatment of students.

Contact Student Health Services.

What is harassment? 

  • Harassment occurs “when a person is treated disfavourably or when a person's dignity is violated in connection to one of the seven grounds of discrimination: gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation and age.”
  • Sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome behaviour that is sexual in nature and violates a person’s dignity. Besides comments and words, this could involve unwanted touching or leering. It could also be a question of unwelcome compliments, invitations or insinuations.”
  • If an employer becomes aware of a possible case of harassment or sexual harassment against an employee, they have an obligation to investigate and take action against the harassment.
  • Harassment is particularly serious when someone in a position of power or influence, such as a teacher or supervisor, harasses a person who is in a position of dependence, such as a student.

Text: Maya Acharya

Last updated by Johanna Svensson