Socio-cultural gender norms continue to cultivate gender-based violence in households, communities, and institutions, with widespread impunity for the perpetrators. As the world marked 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, CampusMeToo, a student-led, Pan-African movement was not left behind. The movement joined other stakeholders in Kenya and from different parts of the world in marking the Global 16 Days of Activism Campaign.
CampusMeToo, is a student-led, Pan-African movement that is empowering students in higher institutions of learning to break the silence on sexual harassment through creative student-led activism. This has been achieved through creating awareness on sexual harassment and mobilizing other students to put pressure on the University management to implement advocacy demands to end violence in the institutions. The movement was launched on the 19th of November 2019 by students in Kenyan higher learning institutions.
Why an activism movement in higher learning institutions?
One in every two female students and one in every four male students has experienced a form of sexual harassment from a member of staff in Kenyan Universities. This is according to a survey done by ActionAid International Kenya in partnership with UN Women.
The study demonstrated that 66% of the student survivors were sexually harassed by a professor/lecturer.
– 49% of women experienced sexual harassment from a staff member.
– 24% of men experienced sexual harassment from a staff member.
– 66% of sexual harassment incidents perpetrated by a professor/lecturer.
– 38% of female students think it unlikely their university would take a sexual harassment report seriously.
– 33% of male students think it unlikely their university would take a sexual harassment report seriously.
CampusMeToo made a difference in my life.
My name is Annette Sidi, a fourth-year student from Kenyatta University pursuing Gender studies. CampusMeToo has had a massive influence on how I perceive things, growing up there are things that had been socialized to me as normal but engaging myself with CampusMeToo activities at Kenyatta University has enlightened me and I can easily discern the various forms of sexual harassment. I now understand that it can be verbal like unwelcomed comments regarding clothing or body and also non-verbal like licking lips from the opposite gender.
The different sessions that I have been part of have really influenced my thoughts on matters of sexual harassment and I can now confidently speak out against the vice.
Part of the students’ multi-prolonged advocacy has been development and dissemination of a students’ toolkit, lecturers’ toolkit, and parents’ toolkit to enable them to prevent, collect evidence, report and address cases of sexual harassment. Visit www.CampusMeToo.com to access more information and supportive resources.
By CampusMeToo Ambassadors