In our Mission and Core Values, we state that Uppsala University will have a working environment and leadership characterised by openness, responsibility and trust, an ethical attitude and approach, and activities characterised by equal opportunities. A natural and integral part of this is that all of us – managers, staff and students – treat one another with respect. No forms of harassment or other discrimination must occur at Uppsala University. This is self-evident and fundamental. It applies to everyone and is everyone’s responsibility. But a particular responsibility rests with all of us in positions of leadership and management, especially heads of department and the Vice-Chancellor.
We have had guidelines for dealing with harassment since 2011, and these must be followed without exception. We can do a better job of emphasising the rules and standards that apply and try to make it easier for victims to report harassment. These issues are included in management training courses but could be emphasised more. This autumn, we have discussed sexual harassment in dialogues with heads of department, students and staff in many different contexts and we encourage all of you to do so too. It is good that we have included questions about sexual harassment in our work environment surveys for the past several years. It goes without saying that we will continue to do so. We welcome the fact that the #MeToo campaign has turned a spotlight on the issue of sexual violations and abuse. These issues really need to be brought to the fore and we will continue to do so indefatigably for a long time to come.
I would like to highlight the work that is being done here in Uppsala at the National Centre for Knowledge on Men’s Violence Against Women. The national telephone support line for women (Kvinnofridslinjen) has now existed for ten years and has answered more than a quarter of a million calls. Tomorrow, on Saturday 25 November, the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a lunch programme at Uppsala City Theatre will focus on the book Åttiosex röster, ett dygn på Kvinnofridslinjen (Eighty-six voices: 24 hours on Kvinnofridslinjen). The book has been produced with the assistance of Kvinnofridslinjen staff and contains anonymised quotations from women subjected to violence who have phoned the national support line.