Coping with sexual harassment in the Egyptian context: a study on female academics

Mohamed Mousa, Hala Abdelmoneim Abdallah Abdelgaffar

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

5 Citas (Scopus)


Purpose: To understand the position of female academics in public universities in Egypt, the authors of this paper aim to answer the question of what comes between victims breaking their silence about workplace sexual harassment (WSH). Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative research method is employed, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 female academics from four public universities selected from among 26 public institutions of higher education in Egypt. Thematic analysis was used to extract main ideas from the transcripts. Findings: At the macro level in Egypt, stipulating an anti-harassment law and harsher penalties were found to be a motivator for female academics to speak up against WSH. At the meso organizational level, establishing anti-harassment units in universities is perceived as an effective mechanism for empowering female academics to respond to, expose and seek punitive action against WSH perpetrators. What was found to be a real challenge to reporting perpetrators is the assumption of some female academics that they will never be heard because of socio-cultural norms that hold university professors as honourable and impeccable. Another challenge is that female academics are poorly represented at both professorial levels and in senior administrative positions in Egyptian academic contexts. Sadly, challenges faced by women in academic contexts, such as WSH, are not being prioritized on the agenda of their universities. Although organizational behaviours and country-specific culture challenge female academics' proactive stance against WSH, new anti-harassment laws and university policies are changing this scenario. Originality/value: This paper contributes by filling a gap in human resource (HR) management, higher education and public administration in which empirical studies of WSH in academic contexts have been limited so far.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)907-926
Número de páginas20
PublicaciónEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
EstadoPublicada - 16 ago. 2022


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