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Protocols against gender violence

As set in the Universities Law (LO 6/2001 of December 21, modified by the LO 4/2007 12th of April), universities are responsible for both ensuring gender equality and avoiding sexual and sex-based harassment as much as possible. This is due to the potential disrupting effect of these situations upon ensuring that nobody in the university community is discriminated and everybody is treated with due dignity, freedom and equality.

In order to avoid sexist behaviours, action protocols against sexual and sex-based harassments must be negotiated by public administrations and the corresponding union representation, as stated in the Article 62 of the Organic Law 3/2007 of Mach 22 for an effective gender equality. This can be done by providing an equal treatment between men and women and by identifying those people responsible for processing any complaint or grievance. For that reason, some public and private universities developed those protocols and only a few still lack this necessary and beneficial tool fighting against gender-based violence.

Action protocols against sexual and sex-based harassment are a legal requirement for any public administration, as stated in the  the Organic Law 3/2007 of March 22 for an effective gender equality:

Article 62. Action protocol against sexual and sex-based harassment.

In order to prevent any sexual and sex-based harassment, public administrations and a legal representation of workers must negotiate an action protocol including, at least, the following principles:

a) The General Administration and any associated or dependent public organism must be committed to prevent and not tolerate any sexual or sex-based harassment.

b) Staff must be trained to respect people dignity, their right for intimacy, and gender equality.

c) Any complaint of sexual or sex-based harassment must be kept in private without prejudice to the disciplinary regime normative.

d) People responsible for attend any complaint or grievance must be identified.

Gender Equality Unities played an essential role in order to pass action protocols against gender violence in universities. Moreover, they encouraged and tracked the start-up and negotiations of the protocols. Firstly, the protected group was limited by incorporating only the staff working within those institutions. However, university students have been increasingly incorporated to many protocols either jointly or separately.