On March 22nd, 2018, IDI hosted a workshop on Sexual Harassment and Conflict Resolution, facilitated by Shahid Akhtar, founder of Conciliators Without Borders. One of the participants read out a poem she had written on the Time’s Up movement, that Mr. Akhtar used to explain the importance of finding unique and powerful ways of sharing a message. He further explained that environmental safety is extremely important and that if victims of sexual harassment ever come to you, they should feel safe and comfortable.

Furthermore, Mr. Akhtar explained, no one approach will work in every situation and mediators need to be open to the context of the situation. There is also the absolute need for the mediator to be neutral and an honest broker. Supervisors and managers are not always good in this role because there may be a perception of bias. He also explained that when people know there are consequences for harassment, they also understand that malicious accusations have consequences. “There must be a change in the culture” he said.

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