On 25 November 2021, staff and students representing our Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP) commemorated the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The event aimed to raise awareness about the issue, while also presenting the MPP’s new Sexual Harassment Document. This awareness document reflects the commitment of the MPP to contribute to the elimination of gender-based violence, and provides students and staff with resources to define sexual harassment and places to reach out to for help.
Programme Director Dr. Julieta Marotta said: “Gender violence is a global problem that societies have neglected historically and only in the last decades has it gained political attention. Despite numerous efforts, gender violence remains a social problem that affects primarily women.”
As the MPP is a double-degree programme offered by the United Nations University and Maastricht University, students have resources from both universities. This awareness document provides a summary of support that can be found at both universities and more broadly around the city of Maastricht, in the south of the Netherlands.
The event also featured UNU-MERIT Gender Officer Dr. Nanditha Mathew, who informed students on how to identify harassment and abuse situations: “The first step towards the prevention of gender violence is awareness and understanding. One should create an environment of non-tolerance of violence, which oftentimes requires cultural shifts by changing norms, attitudes and beliefs that support gender-based violence.” The talk ended with Mathew sharing tools for students and staff to use to immediately address such a situation.
For more details or assistance, please contact Abigail Daley.
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.
UNU / UN Women