Institutional Disability Protection: Sexual harrassment experiences of students living with disabilities in Ugandan public universities

Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Brynja Elísabeth Halldórsdóttir
sexual harassment, disability, universities, institutions


As Ugandan public universities commit to providing safe environments for the education and health of their students, understanding the risks of sexual coercion for women with disabilities on campuses is imperative for the designing of sexual harrassment policies and responses . This is especially important as literature shows higher levels of sexual harrassment for students living with disabilities than the general population. Even with increased institutional reforms around sexual harrassment, limited data exsist on the intergration of disability needs and perspectives into institutional responses. This research explores the experiences that disabled students have of sexual harrassment. Using a phenomenological qualitative research approach, the study focuses on the effectiveness of institutional policies and structures to protect students living with disabilities in universities, their coping responses to sexual harassment and an understanding of their perceived differential needs for diverse types of disabilities. This methodology will be used to collect this data from three public universities in Uganda. An institutional feminist disability theory will be employed. The study will help integrate disability as a category of representation within sexual harassment policies thus increasing equal protection for students on and off campus. Additionally, it will increase representation, reporting and access to justice for those who are disabled.This ground breaking research will provide a starting point to enable institutions to play an active role in improving post-secondary education, gender, and disability outcomes in Uganda.