Sexual violence and discrimination against women. A problem of interest of gynecologists and primary care professionals

Hernando Gaitán


Two studies are published in this issue of the Colombian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in relation to discrimination, abuse of authority, harassment or sexual violence. This problem affects Colombian society as a whole and, as these research studies demonstrate, is also found to a significant degree in higher education institutions. As mentioned by professor Leonor Moreno Cubillos in her research, academic institutions ought to be the least affected by the outdated underlying concepts of gender or labor relation supremacy.

Both studies show how women are the main victims of discrimination or sexual harassment at the universities, how they are affected throughout the different stages of their university life, and how there is a perception that authorities in the universities do not do enough to prevent them or to support the victims. Although in many of the situations described the victimizers are men, it is striking to find that in situations of abuse of authority by people in academic and administrative positions, it is women themselves who are frequently guilty of such abuse.

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Pérez J, Sancho T. Acoso sexual en el trabajo. Ministerio del Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales España. Visited on March 18, 2013. Available at:

Hegarty KL, O’Doherty LJ, Chondros P, Valpied J, Taft AJ, Astbury J, et al. Effect of type and severity of intimate partner violence on women’s health and service use: findings from a primary care trial of women afraid of their partners. J Interpers Violence 2013;28:273-94.

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ISSN Impreso       0034-7434 

ISSN Electrónico   2463-0225