10.6.4

Tolerance Document for Employees in Education System to denounce Discrimination and Hate

Federal Decree Law No. 2 of

Dubai, March 8, 2016: Dr. Louise Lambert, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Ethics at Canadian University Dubai (CUD) advised people facing sexual harassment in the workplace to ‘speak up’ and report the matter to concerned authorities when they feel the ‘line has been crossed’.

Speaking at a workshop on ‘Sexual Harassment at Workplace’ at the university on the eve of International Women’s Day, Dr. Lambert gave an overview of common examples of sexual harassment, common responses, ways of extricating oneself from a situation and the role of HR in handling such issues.

Focusing mainly on student-faculty cases of sexual harassment, she recommended taking a firm line from the start when contracted with ‘unwanted attention’ by way of emails, looks, phone calls, notes, gestures, touch or presence beyond the necessary.

“It is important to speak up. If a student is inappropriate with faculty, the right approach is to demonstrate who the boss is. If the harassment persists, it should be reported. It is also important to document and keep records of emails and other evidence, as such cases may escalate,” she said.

Dr. Louise also underlined the role of HR in creating an environment in which victims will be heard and believed and the case resolved. This should be backed up by proper policies and complaint mechanisms, code of conduct and awareness programs. In some cases, disciplinary action should be taken to resolve particular cases.

The audience, comprised of faculty and students, raised a number of pertinent issues, particularly those prevailing in a university environment and recounted their experiences in facing cases of sexual harassment.

Dr. Louise said sexual harassment at universities was more common than generally admitted. She pointed out that some faculty hesitate to speak up because they want to be nice, don’t want to cause trouble, are not comfortable in being assertive, are troubled by a history of not being believed or are under the mistaken belief that such issues are normal for women.

Speaking on behalf of Canadian University Dubai, Hennie Ferreira, HR Director, assured faculty that the university has systems in place to tackle cases of sexual harassment, for the benefit of faculty as well as students. There is a strict code of conduct and the university is ready to take disciplinary action when a particular situation demands, he added.

Gallery

December 1st, 2014: Men and women from the student, academic and business communities joined the debate on violence against women at an event hosted by Canadian University Dubai (CUD) to coincide with an international day of recognition on the issue.

The conference heard from speakers across a range of subjects relating to different forms and perspectives of abuse, and conveyed positive messages about how both men and women can act against this form of violence.

Opening the debate, Dr. Louise Lambert, Assistant Professor at CUD, spoke about social responsibility in the context of abuse; emphasizing that people should consider violence that might be inflicted on those around them as well as themselves, whether they are known to them or not.

Youth Coach and Columnist at The National, Khaled Al Ameri, continued with his own insights from a male perspective, discussing his recent article entitled, "We all need to stand up when we see harassment." Khaled shared how learning how to respectfully treat women was an important feature of his childhood.

CUD student Nada Mataar went on to speak about the problems of human trafficking and how people can fall victim to such activities, while Elizabeth Topolskaya spoke on the subject of financial abuse and busted myths about women's spending and saving habits, encouraging all ladies to have their own bank account and financial independence.

Dr. Franziska Apprich, Dean of the Schools of Liberals Arts and Sciences, and Health and Environment, tackled the subject of verbal violence and mob mentality. Using a penguin to bring her story to life, she spoke about how children are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, stressing the importance of treating each other respectfully.

Assistant Professor Dr. Joanna Seraphim provided insights from her research into women living in abusive relationships, discussing how victims had reacted to their abuse and how they had ultimately succeeded in escaping.

Tackling another challenging subject was student Hibo Bile, who spoke out against female genital mutilation (FGM). A Canadian born Somalian, Hibo has worked with organizations in educating women and men on the dangers of FGM, going as far as to assist in having bills passed internationally on the subject.

The conference concluded with the performance of an original drama, penned by student Hala Naser and performed by Hala and Anisa and Shavkat Mukhamedova. Their play 'Suitcase' told the story of a woman's trials with and abusive partner.

The conference was the second in a series focusing on women in society hosted by CUD and, on this occasion, was timed to coincide with the United Nations' international day for the elimination of violence against women.

Student Aliyah Salim who attended the event said "I used to think that it was the sad reality of the world, but now I realize that it is wrong. That a husband beating his wife or speaking badly to her is not acceptable. This event has really changed my whole perspective on the issue."

Gallery


November 23, 2017, GEMS Wellington School, Silicon Oasis: Students from GEMS school accompanied by CUD staff recorded a song, celebrating the diversity of Dubai titled ‘You’re Dubai.’

The song was written by Dr. Franziska Apprich, Assistant Professor and Head of Learning Zones and Incubation in CUD, in collaboration her Communications students.

The recording of the song is a follow up to an initiative in early October when students from the Communications Department worked closely with GEMS students on the subject of bullying. During their classes the GEMS students wrote and recorded lines about anti- bullying.

The students were so impressed by the creativity of the students that they felt motivated to prolong the relationship and as a result encouraged Dr. Fran to pen a song.

The song was recorded by the GEMS School Choir ‘Resonance’, under the supervision of music teacher Olivia Shields and, music coordinator Danielle Boylan. The choir was accompanied by members of staff from CUD.

The song is about the beauty and innovation of Dubai and how it has given us all a home. We’re all part of Dubai and are happy to be living in this peaceful and tolerant place.

Many of our students have been born in Dubai and consider this to be their home. Every time Fran comes into a classroom she is reminded of the diversity and beauty of Dubai.

Dr. Fran expressed the hope that the song would receive the maximum exposure through Radio and Social media as she felt that many people share the values of the song and music video.

The song is the end product of an initiative between CUD and Gems School addressing issues around bullying and examining strategies for coping.

Speaking on behalf of the GEMS School, Thomas Nelson, Head of Emerald House and Physical Education teacher who originally invited CUD to participate in the anti-bullying campaign said that it was important to encourage students to acquire confidence when discussing issues around bullying in the classroom, making it easier for students to talk about bullying issues when they happen, and also providing a better understanding of why they happen and how people are affected.

We wanted to establish a link with The Canadian University of Dubai and with the help of Dr. Fran and her students, we were able to work together to deliver songwriting workshops that allowed our students to express their feelings and experiences around the theme of prejudice and discrimination.

For the future, our ambition is to ensure that this awareness and message remains a focal point at the Academy throughout the academic year. As a school we know we have made a positive difference to our students in recognizing, reporting and responding to bullying.