Mexico, April (SEMlac Special). – Universities and other higher education
facilities have become really dangerous places for women (both professors
and students). For example, 49.3 percent of women students at the National
Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) have endured gender violence.
The Executive Commission on Victims Care (CEAV) indicated that, out of
600,000 sexual- crime cases, only 20,000 are actually taken to court.
Despite decades-old gender studies, abusers still go unpunished, no
victim-care protocols are under implementation, and no effective solutions
A journalistic research by SEMlac has shown that indifference is now being
compounded by the efforts of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare to
take abusers back to work, including professor Enrique González.
After a long process, a rapist at UNAM has, for the first time ever, been
sentenced to nine years in prison.
Private universities make no room for gender analysis. They have no
appropriate victim care protocols despite a constitutional mandate, a
federal policy and a law on women’s access to violence-free settings.
A few weeks ago, González organized a meeting to continue harassing María C.
Rodríguez and Clementina Correa, who had filed suits against their
colleague, a “human-rights specialist.”
According to the UNAM Gender Study Program, which includes surveys and
analyses, 49.3 percent of women students (34,642) have endured some form of
On the other hand, Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) professor Mary
Goldsmith, who has pioneered gender studies in the country, indicated that
sexual violence is commonplace at campuses.
Jenny Cooper, a former professor at the School of Economics, believes that
there are no procedures in place to prevent, deal with and punish sexual
violence against women (professors and students).
Five years ago, the National Institute of Women (INMUJERES) had formulated
formal recommendations to develop protocols from a gender and human-rights
A research work by Arturo Ilizaliturri, a member of the Latin American
Network of Young Journalists, revealed that, out of 32 local autonomous
universities, only four have protocols in place to fight sexual abuse.
International legal consultant Andrea Medina told SEMlac that these
instruments should be both clear and specific to avoid legal gaps.
University rector Hugo Aboites has systematically refused to meet with
González’ case is now at the Conciliation and Arbitration Board, which has
since 2012 banned harassment by employers and colleagues and has decided to
dismiss those found guilty.
“In 2011, UAM-Xochimilco undertook an institutional program that has
included a plan to prevent violence against women,” said its manager
“After several decades of sustained efforts, a network of higher education
institutions has been established to discuss gender violence intervention
and control methods,” stressed jurist Andrea Medina.
The list of universities with protocols under implementation includes the
Autonomous University of Sinaloa and the universities of San Nicolás de
Hidalgo, Veracruz, and Quintana Roo. The former covers only cases at its
facilities and the latter, only faculty members.
Out of eight universities, merely one addresses sexual crimes. The others
just deal with “immoral acts, lacks of respect, hostility situations,
drunkenness, and forgery.”