The First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, has called for urgent action to address sexual harassment against students. Buhari made the call during; the exclusive screening of the BBC Africa Eye ‘Sex for Grades’ documentary on Monday night in Lagos.
The First Lady lamented that the issue of sexual harassment against women was; not unique to universities, but has become prevalent in the society, including religious settings.
Aisha Buhari represented by Mrs Aisha Rimi, a lawyer, condemned sexual harassment against students, saying it was; unacceptable as the nation’s educational system had suffered many setbacks that had hindered its development. “This simply has to change.
It is no longer enough to sweep allegations under the carpet or force victims to withdraw their allegations, victimise or stigmatise them,” she said. She stressed that there are laws to protect victims of sexual harassment and abuse, but; such laws cannot operate except victims speak out to get justice.
Buhari advised women that their dignity and self respect should outweigh whatever challenge they face, stating her support to ensure a sexual abuse free society for women.
She commended the BBC team for their hard work, bravery and tenacity to expose the ills facing students in the country’s tertiary institutions. Also, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, Wife of Ekiti Governor, said that it was; time to speak up, speak out and stand by victims of sexual abuse, saying the culture of silence must end.
According to her, universities should have clear sexual and violence policies that will protect students and the sanctity of the educational system.