South Africa: Bans Sexual‚ Romantic Relationships Between Staff And Students- Wits

Sexual and romantic relationships between staff and students the University of the Witwatersrand are now prohibited to prevent abuse. ...


Sexual and romantic relationships between staff and students the University of the Witwatersrand are now prohibited to prevent abuse.

The new policy was approved by the university’s council on Friday. It applies to undergraduate and Honours students.

The purpose is to guard against the potential for abuse of power by lecturers regarding undergraduate and honours students‚ according to Professor Jackie Dugard‚ the director of Wits’s Gender Equity Office.
“Gender based harm is unfortunately a common occurrence in society and across campuses in South Africa” and the university “developed the policy as one of many others that aims to combat gender-based harm‚ sexual harassment and rape”.
Said Dugard: “Although these relationships are technically consensual - as opposed to non-consensual sexual harassment‚ which is covered by Wits’ policy on sexual harassment‚ sexual assault and rape - in many situations the student feels completely unable to navigate and especially to decisively reject the sexual overtures by lecturers for a range of reasons including being afraid to reject someone with so much institutional power.”
Serious relationships are exempt - not all sexual and romantic relationships between staff members and undergraduate students are problematic.


By: TMG Digital

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