Three-year research project casts light on sexual harassment

Anette Agardh, professor of global health, has been appointed to lead a project to develop a knowledge platform and a plan for strengthening efforts to counteract sexual harassment at the University. She considers that sexual harassment is a complex issue.
“Many aspects can be related to the occurrence of sexual harassment”, she says and refers, among other things, to the formal structures within academia

Anette Agardh is pleased to be entrusted with the task.

The background to the assignment is that the #metoo movement has revealed the culture of silence that often surrounds sexual harassment, points out Anette Agardh. This has subsequently led to the issue being discussed at the University. The three-year project has been assigned directly by the vice-chancellor and aims to cover all those active at Lund University – students, doctoral students and employees. Assisting Anette Agardh is a project group of four people representing the subjects of work environment, psychology and law, as well as representatives of the HR division and students’ union. There will also be a group that is available when required for providing supportive discussions, advice or help in reporting sexual harassment.

Anette Agardh is pleased to be entrusted with the task and that Lund University is making  serious investments to strengthen its efforts to counteract sexual harassment.

“It concerns making a contribution to good study and work environments, and ensuring there is security and trust in the University’s handling of sexual harassment, should it be required”, she observes.

Inclusion will be important in this work, which is why the project will start with the project group reaching out to listen and hold discussions with students, doctoral students and employees about their experiences and perceptions.

“We want to understand how the discussion climate, power relations and security are perceived today.”

The project will then conduct a questionnaire-based survey and draw up a proposal for how efforts to counteract sexual harassment can be strengthened and followed up.

“By studying the experiences and perceptions of students, doctoral students and employees, and utilising existing research, we want to ensure in the future that such work will be needs and knowledge-based”, says Anette Agardh.

Development work will be ongoing throughout the project, but the second part, in 2019, will focus on implementing measures to tackle sexual harassment more effectively and conclude with a project evaluation. There will also be a website where you can follow the project.

Maria Lindh