SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION: ZERO TOLERANCE ON #SEX4GRADES

  • Posted In : Youth and Education

PRESS RELEASE

14th October, 2019.

 SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION: ZERO TOLERANCE ON #SEX4GRADES

Strengthening Youth Participation Against Corruption (Y-PAC) is a DFID funded project implemented by a consortium of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) led by Youth Alive Foundation (YAF). As part of the Y-PAC intervention aimed at Strengthening Integrity in Tertiary Institutions, Sex for Grades was identified in tertiary institutions as the most prevalent corrupt practice. In response to this, the Y-PAC project launched the SHE Campaign (SHE stands for Sexual Harassment in Higher Education) at the beginning of 2019. YAF and partners are implementing the SHE campaign in 5 states and 13 tertiary institutions across Nigeria. A National survey in 19 tertiary institutions across 6 states which sampled over 3000 students was conducted. Findings showed that 51.7% of female undergraduates had suffered one form of sexual violence or another in school. The survey provided evidence of the prevalent rate of sexual harassment in Higher Education in Nigeria and also provided a situational analysis of systems, policies and processes put in place by institutions to address sexual harassment.

 

As civil Society activists, we note that the high prevalence of Sex for grades in tertiary institutions with the most recent BBC video on Sex for grade in Lagos State University, is a result of inaction and societal inability for accountability as it relates to protecting the rights of female students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

We are aware that Nigeria has ratified The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015(VAPP) Act. We are concerned about Nigeria’s ability to draw on international  policy frameworks in addressing sexual harassment of female students in the tertiary institutions. We believe that immediate country milestone of institutionalizing the CEDAW treaty includes the passage of the Bill to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institutions, which was earlier passed by the senate in 2016 as Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institutions (Prohibition) Bill but did not receive concurrence from the house of representative. This Bill has been represented by the Senate on the 9th of October 2019.

In the light of the above, Youth Alive Foundation is building a multiple stakeholders platform and a strategic national advocacy campaign in support for the Legislative passage and presidential assent to the Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institution Prohibition Bill. We expect that through strategic partnership with key stakeholders, prosecution and sanctions will be hastened and investigative journalism will champion fresh dynamics of unraveling the hideous act. Through this multi-faceted approach, Nigeria will propagate a new era for naming and shaming and this we believe will go a long way in addressing the prevalence of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions in the country

We therefore:

1.       Call on all well-meaning Nigerians CSO’s, international development agencies, organized private sector, media, faith based organizations etc to lend their voices to the issues of sexual exploitation of our vulnerable teeming youth.

2.      Call on the 9th Assembly to prioritize the passage of the bill in both houses.

3.      Call on the President to show commitment by quick accent to the bill.

4.      Call on School governing bodies, oversight agencies like Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission (NUC) and law enforcement agencies to sanction and prosecute perpetrators.

 

Signed:

1.                   Youth Alive Foundation, Nigeria

2.                  Social Action – Social Development Integration Centre

3.                  We The People - Centre for Social Studies and Development

4.                  Centre for Awareness for Justice and Accountability

5.                  Centre for Information Technology and Development

6.                  Nigerian Youth Parliament

7.                  Youth Anti-Corruption Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


WISDOM HANSON

Wisdom Hanson is the Digital Media Coordinator at Youth Alive Foundation. As a passion driven individual, he is experienced in Strategic program communications using digital tools and has worked in a number of projects ranging from Agriculture, Education and Technology. He is currently working on a DFID funded project and communicates behavioral change.

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