More Nigerians Back Sexual Harassment Bill , as ASUU Kicks

The recently passed Sexual Harassment Bill by the National Assembly has been described as a step in the right direction.

The chairperson, Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja branch, Barrister Hauwa Shekau, gave the commendation during a Zoom meeting organized by the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists, Nigeria.

While analyzing sections of the bill, Barrister Shekau, said it abolished mutual consent as a defense in sexual harassment cases in tertiary institutions.

She stressed the need to expand the bill to also tackle sexual harassment in workplaces and harmonize all legislations on sexual harassment for easy implementation.

In his presentation, the National President, ASUU, Professor Abiodun Ogunyemi, faulted the bill for targeting the tertiary institutions only instead of addressing the issue of sexual harassment in all spheres of the society.

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For an activist, Mr. Kingsley Obom-Egbulem, the tertiary institutions have carried on with so much impunity over the years noting that when a system fails to regularize itself, it will be subjected to external regulations.

Sharing her experience as a rape survivor, a Midwife from School of Nursing, Yola, Adamawa State, Ms Davida Ajiboye, said she went through a psychological trauma that affected her self esteem.

A student from University of Lagos, Miss Timinimu Kolawole, applauded the bill for abolishing mutual consent as defense in sexual harassment cases in higher institutions but noted that some sections of the bill if allowed to stand will end up victimizing the victims.

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Queen Anigbogu, who is a member of the Network reports that the title of the Zoom meeting was, “Combating Sexual Harassments to uphold Ethics in Nigeria’s Tertiary Institutions”.

What are your thoughts?

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