Dr. Shaheen Shariff was recently invited to address the Montreal Council of Women (MCW) regarding rape culture in universities.
Director of McGill’s Define the Line research program, Dr. Shariff has become internationally known for her expertise on societal, legal and policy issues relating to social media usage by youth. A recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canadian public policy, her work was also recognized with Facebook’s Digital Citizenship Research Grant. Her research is grounded in the study of law as it impacts education, public policy and digital citizenship. Dr. Shariff has published five books drawing on her research funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and will be speaking on a panel at a summit organized by the Honourable Tracy MacCharles, Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues. The conference is entitled “It's Never Okay" 2015 Summit on Sexual Violence and Harassment, and takes place in Toronto on November 19- 20, 2015.
The Montreal Council of Women prepared a document (.pdf) in which Dr. Shariff's presentation was summarized. "She said that rape culture is rooted in discrimination," wrote the MCW therein, "and emerges as sexist behaviour including jokes, harassment, non-consensual distribution of intimate images and rape... Many universities are responding to rape culture on campus with action plans. McGill organized a conference on consent and the responsibility of bystanders." The document also provides statistics from Shariff's recent studies that have analyzed attitudes towards sexting and cyber-bullying within groups of youth and young adults who are between 9 and 30 years of age.