Allegations of sexual harassment against a professor at a university have sparked outcry in Jordan, where complaints have gained momentum on social media and local media, a first in a country where sexual harassment remains quite taboo, emphasizes the site of the pan-Arab channel Al Jazeera.
The case began when a 21-year-old student, Seba Al-Taamari, published on her Twitter account several accounts of female students who had been victims of “inappropriate messages, inappropriate remarks and physical harassment”, reports Al Jazeera. The #TechnoHarrasser hashtag went viral in early June, and “ultimately led to the physics professor’s dismissal and the filing of a motion to the attorney general’s office for further investigation,” indicates the site.
According to several testimonies, some of which come from former students enrolled in 2006, the professor forced his students to meet him privately in his office, where he often tried to sexually harass them. The professor denied allegations that the videos and messages being relayed were “made” and that he had no “never touched anyone”.
This is the first time that Jordan has seen a movement of this magnitude emerge against sexual harassment, notes Salma Nims, secretary general of the Jordanian National Commission for Women. It is pleased that these denunciations have finally contributed to “breaking the silence”.
Beyond the substantial number of testimonies, which “shocked” the country, the case opened “a broader debate on the extent of sexual harassment in Jordanian society”, underlines the pan-Arab media.