ITAM held the inter-institutional seminar on better practices to eradicate gender violence in universities

On Wednesday, November 11, the Better Practices Seminar to Prevent, Attend, Punish and Eradicate Gender Violence in the University Context, organized by ITAM, was held. Representatives from UNAM, CIDE, Ibero, El Colegio de México and Escuela Libre de Derecho participated in the seminar.

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A shared commitment to eradicate gender-based violence

In their opening message, Diana Antillón, general attorney, and Adriana Ortiz Ortega, ITAM’s  Director for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion, highlighted the importance of opening spaces for dialogue. These spaces are created in order to encourage, inside the Institute, the best practices implemented in higher education centers. These educational centers are characterized by their renewal in the matter.

Both highlighted that this Seminar is the propitious framework to reaffirm ITAM’s commitment to a deliberative and participatory process around gender violence. It includes broad actions to improve institutional practices and communication among community members. The process seeks to result in a diagnosis of the state of the issue in the community, the rewriting of its current protocol, and a comprenhensive atention for victims of gender violence.

What were the topics to be discussed in the seminar?

The seminar consisted of three tables, throughout which a constant dialogue was maintained between the participants and the people who attended. At the first table, moderated by Francisca Pou, researcher at the ITAM Academic Department of Law, the experiences of El Colegio de México, Ibero and UNAM in the design of protocols to deal with cases of harassment and gender violence were addressed. Likewise, the challenges that these institutions had faced to prevent, attend and punish gender violence were shared. They also talked about the implementation of protocols and the results they have obtained. It was emphasized that, as the treatment of gender violence deepens, spaces for equality are opened.

ITAM’s current anti-harassment protocol

At the second table, moderated by Joyce Sadka, researcher at ITAM’s Department of Economics and collaborator in the second review of the current ITAM Protocol against harassment, the representatives of CIDE and Escuela Libre de Derecho presented the actions promoted in their respective institutions. They emphasized the need to work on primary and secondary prevention approaches. Later, they discussed the shared institutional challenges to address the issue of eradicating gender violence.

Representatives of Fundación Origen participated at this table. Fundación Origen is one of the institutions with the longest experience in psycho-emotional treatment for victims of violence in Mexico. Likewise, representatives from The Boston Center were present. They highlighted the desirable components that a model of protection against cases of gender violence should contain. Andrea Foncerrada, from The Boston Center, spoke in particular of the importance of each institution undertaking a self-assessment process. She also announced that, within the framework of this important Seminar, the representatives of El Colegio de México, IBERO, UNAM, CIDE, Escuela Libre de Derecho and ITAM assumed, in a personal capacity, the commitment to become strategic allies to work, advance and influence the design of public policies in favor of the treatment of gender violence in university spaces.

An analysis of institutional policies

At the third table, moderated by Dr. Ana Micaela Alterio, from the ITAM Law Department, the results of the “Comparative research on the design of protocols in Mexico” were presented by Janette Góngora and Adriana Ortiz Ortega. In the same way, the study and research of the Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination of Mexico City was presented in collaboration with the Intersecta organization entitled: “Discrimination and violence in universities. Data, laws and good practices ”, volume 1.

Throughout the conversation, the need for institutional policies that include primary and secondary prevention was stressed. Likewise, it was emphasized to have a human rights approach that takes into account all the members and subjects that interact in different university spaces. The importance of considering the size and complexity of the universities and promoting the collective definition of actions was highlighted. Likewise, the dissemination of instruments in which participates all the people who make up the community was highlighted; as well as a system to measure and evaluate the scope of the actions. Teacher Ana Tovar, professor in the ITAM Law department, stressed that the issue of harassment and violence against women must be addressed in a global, multifocal and multidisciplinary way.

Commitments to adopt

The seminar closed with the participation of representatives of student groups of the ITAM He for She movement: Diversidad ITAM, Cuarta Ola and Resiliencia Combativa. The representatives underlined the importance of this type of spaces. Likewise, they wanted the ideas and recommendations raised to be reflected in the ITAM protocol for attention to gender violence. In addition, the representatives asked to be considered as agents capable of participating in the design of responses. The students emphasized the necessity to expand the design of the protocol to make it inclusive and applicable to members of Sexual Diversity.

To conclude, Arturo Fernández, President of ITAM, highlighted that the advancement of the gender and human dignity agenda is unfolding with great changes worldwide. The rector stressed that the institutions that do not assume it will lose social respect. He promised to eradicate any type of violence within the Institute. Likewise, it made a commitment to close the gap between expectations and reality in this matter. The rector promised to continue updating ITAM’s policy against sexual harassment, taking into account the recommendations made during the seminar. Finally, Dr. Fernández recalled that ITAM was one of the first institutions to issue a protocol on sexual harassment in the country. In the same way, Dr. Fernández highlighted that he signed a commitment agreement with He for She, from the UN office in Mexico.

ITAM’s commitment to the gender agenda

This seminar is part of a series of virtual conversations that have been taking place this year at ITAM to address issues related to the gender agenda. The next one will be a dialogue based on the book “Vigencia de la Convención Belém Do Pará”, which will take place on Wednesday, November 18 at 12:00 (Zoom 957 7480 0347), with the participation of the author, Margarita Guillé, and commented by Siobhan Guerrero, researcher at the CEIICH of UNAM. Both constitute a first exercise with institutions and groups to work together to review the ITAM Policy against sexual harassment.

You can see the full seminar in the following video:

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