“The 6th International Conference on Gender Studies” organized by the Center for Women’s Studies at Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU - CWS) between 23 and 25 March 2017, hosted the “12th Network Meeting Against Sexual Harassment and Assault”. Alongside with EMU, Koç, Hacettepe, Kemerburgaz, Çukurova, Near East, Çankaya and Özyeğin Universities were also represented at the meeting.
Firstly, the latest changes and progress of the participating universities considering the topic were discussed. According to the information provided, Çankaya and Özyeğin Universities were unable to form a Sexual Harassment and Assault (SHA) unit, however Çankaya University is applying the current disciplinary regulations. Özyeğin University Rector’s Office on the other hand, is monitoring these kind of incidents with academicians who are working in gender studies. In the meeting, it was advised to the universities that have not formed the necessary units or not started the gender classes to remind the authorities about the policy document from which Council of Higher Education (YÖK) have sent to the Rector’s Offices of universities. It was also stated in the meeting that Hacettepe University is training its academicians, administrative personnel and students about sexual harassment and assault. It was discussed that the observation duty for these kind of incidents which used to be undertaken by an ethical council until today, is expected to be transferred to a new SHA unit in Hacettepe University.
It has also been noted in the meeting that the first women’s workshop and action plan in North Cyprus have been completed and crisis centers are expected to be formed after the foundation of the Public Gender Office. Formation of a permanent SHA organism and availability of the participants that can add a legal personality to this structure in becoming women and public gender research centers, were also points of discussion in the meeting.
It was decided to discuss the topic of permanent structure to be discussed in the next meeting to be held on the 29th of May 2017.
Also, the Woman 2000 magazine declared a call for papers and notes considering the participants’ SHA experiences for a special issue in the meeting. The editorship of the call for papers and notes is decided to be held by Dr. Hülya Şimga and Dr. Gülriz Uygur. It was also decided that the topic of secure campus application for the universities which formed the mechanism of tracking and prevention of sexual harassment and assault, giving classes of public gender in the name of The Inter-university Initiative For Sexual Harassment and Assault and also the universities that passed a policy document through necessary disciplinary organs to be discussed in the next meeting.