Sciences Po returns to school with the launch of a plan to combat gender-based and sexual violence

After the Duhamel affair which shook the institution, Sciences Po is putting in place, for its return to school, a plan to fight against gender-based and sexual violence, supported by a listening and monitoring system.

“This is a lesson learned by our institution from the crisis it suffered last year on this difficult, demanding issue in a university context”, explained at a press conference Bénédicte Durand, the provisional administrator from school.

Three pillars

Sciences Po was shaken last year by the charges of incest, dismissed because of prescription, brought against Olivier Duhamel, the president of the National Foundation of Political Sciences (FNSP) which oversees the school.

This affair caused the resignations of Olivier Duhamel then of the director of Sciences Po Frédéric Mion, one of his relatives. It has also fueled the #sciencesporcs movement launched by students claiming to be victims or witnesses of gender-based behavior and violence in several institutes of political studies in France.

The fight plan revolves around three main pillars: taking care of victims with special attention, the systematic initiation of an internal investigation and increased awareness of all audiences, ”underlined Bénédicte Durand.

Three candidates

Appointed provisionally in February, she announced her candidacy for the leadership of the institution on Friday. The candidates will be officially known on October 20 and the appointment of the new director is expected in November. “I needed this summer rest time to answer two questions. Do I have the desire and the strength to continue to serve Sciences Po? Do I have a project, a vision for this institution, in a context of incredible complexity? It took me all this time to answer a double yes, ”said Bénédicte Durand.

In addition to Bénédicte Durand, who arrived in 2015 as dean of Sciences Po university college, then appointed director of initial training in 2018, two other candidates came forward: the senior official François Perret and the professor of management sciences at the Paris-Saclay Jean-Philippe Denis University.

Referring to the return of the institution, which began on Monday, Bénédicte Durand assured that “everything is going well”. “The crisis is still there, we respect all health measures with an active policy: the possibility for our students to be tested via barnums near establishments in Paris and in the region and also access to self-tests”, a she clarified.

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