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NWC welcomes new initiatives launched by Minister Simon Harris today

Published: Monday, July 27, 2020

The National Women’s Council (NWC) today welcomed the new initiatives launched by Minister Simon Harris to create a culture of zero tolerance toward sexual violence and harassment at Third Level.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWC said

“Sexual violence and harassment have a significant impact on the lives of many women students at Third Level institutes. These institutes are uniquely placed to show leadership on this issue and implementing the zero-tolerance culture and preventative measures. This is why we strongly welcome the initiatives announced today by the Department of Further and Higher Education, initiatives that can drive the long-term societal change needed to ensure all women are safe.”

“Minister Harris reaffirmed the Programme for Government Commitment to have an action plan aimed at tackling sexual harassment. Furthermore, the Minister pledged to broaden the remit of the National Center of Excellence for Gender Equality to wider Equality Diversity and Inclusion, and to also expand the remit to include oversight of consent framework (Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive – Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions) implementation. The establishment announced today of national HEI reporting system on consent framework implementation is particularly welcome, as is the announcement of a new national survey of student experiences of harassment and violence on campuses.”

Jennifer McCarthy Flynn, Head of Policy at NWC said,

“We welcome the fact this meeting took place so early in Minister Harris’ new role. It sends a strong signal to the higher and further education sector of the seriousness with which he takes the issue of sexual violence and harassment in third level education for students and staff. We still continue to world closely with Minister Harris to make progress on ending sexual violence and harassment at third level.”



For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Coordinator, Tel. 085 861 9087.