Thursday, January 7, 2016

Puja Kapai Interviewed on Sexual Harassment in Universities in Hong Kong (HKFP)

"Sexual harassment at Hong Kong's universities - rarely reported, but not rare"
Medhavi Arora
Hong Kong Free Press
3 January 2016
Before 19-year-old Chloe Wong entered a university in Hong Kong as a freshman, she was vulnerable and stressed after a messy breakup. She enrolled for a course taught by a “short, burly, hairy” man who also happened to be her academic advisor, requiring her to spend time with him regularly.
     In class, the professor would often call upon her to read aloud, casually touch her shoulder and at times, look at her while teaching and stare at her legs. After Chloe’s first advising meeting with the professor in his office, he asked her for a kiss on the cheek, saying it was customary in his culture to kiss goodbye...
     “In recent years, we became aware of a couple of inappropriate orientation activities that were highly sexualised,” said Puja Kapai, associate professor of law and equal opportunity advisor at HKU.
     According to Kapai, there have been instances of sexually charged behaviour during mass orientation programs such as faculty level orientation activities. Field trips, late evening engagements and halls of residence also sometimes result in the greying of boundaries where colleagues, students, and neighbours take advantage of the opportunities for sexual harassment in a less formalised setting...
     “We should know that there have been ‘x’ complaints received of which ‘y’ have been dealt with, and as a result, ‘z’ cases have resulted in disciplinary action or dismissal. We need to build a solid system that can make victims feel confident that these complaints are taken seriously and we are not quite there yet. Confidentiality is important but transparency is also important,” said Kapai... Click here to read the full article.

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