University Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa: Exploring Best Practices

Abdul Aziz Seidu, Sinegugu Duma, Sarah Compton, Akanni Akinyemi, Moreoagae Bertha Randa, Ruth Owusu-Antwi, Darlington S. David, Judith Chamisa, Sibongile Kamusoko, Eugene Kofour Maafo Darteh, Fiyinfoluwa Morenkeji, Jackson Mott, Sydney Bauer, Kwamena Sekyi Dickson, Michelle Munro-Kramer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aims Addressing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in educational settings across the globe, particularly in institutions of higher education, requires strong institutional framework and policy guidelines. Most research about university SGBV policies has focused on high-income countries with little or no recourse to universities in low- and middle-income countries. This policy analysis aims to analyze existing policies related to SGBV from select sub-Saharan African universities to provide guidance on best practices toward addressing SGBV at universities in Africa. Methods Seven university policies and six national policies from six countries across sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe) were reviewed using a standardized data extraction form. The policy analysis identified eight key elements of policies related to SGBV for sub-Saharan African universities, which were verified using a nominal group technique with five international experts in the field. Results Overall, policies varied significantly in accessibility, terminology, definitions, format, and inclusivity across the sites. Some of the policies were not readily accessible, and there was limited evidence provided in some of the policy documents. Conclusions Policies for universities in sub-Saharan Africa should (a) be evidence based, (b) be readily available in multiple formats, (c) define key terms broadly with gendered signifiers, (d) be succinct and concise, (e) incorporate broad definitions for all university stakeholders, (f) identify who created the policy and when, (g) address prevention, and (h) address response. Evidence-based policies addressing SGBV prevention, response, and justice are sorely needed at universities across the globe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Forensic Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Policy
  • sexual and gender-based violence
  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • university


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