The United States embassy Abuja honoured Women’s History Month, with a call on ending sexual harassment in educational institutions, addressing the rampant trend with a panel discussion and a film screening of ‘The Hunting Ground’ examining the root of sexual harassment, the complicit roles of the institutions and the effect on victims and their families.
A call was; made during a panel discussion by Dr. Ganiyat Adesina, the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), who brought attention to the lack of proper policies in schools addressing sexual assault, and that it does not favour the victims.
“In the handbooks, there is no section highlighting how sexual assault should be reported or the sanctions for it,” she said.
Prof. Ocholi Ekundayo, the director of Centre for Gender Security Studies & Youth Advancement at the University of Abuja, said that new, specific policies are being set up due to the alarming new rate of reported cases coming to light, especially after the highly publicized “sex for marks” scandal involving Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) lecturer, Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele.
Human Rights Activist, Dorothy Njemanze also made the call for indecent dressing to stop being; associated as a reason for sexual abuse and rape.
“The fact that there are dress codes for university students will not solve the problem. Humans should be; made to take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming the victim.” She said.
The convener of the #ArewaMeToo movement, Fakhriyyah Hashim; also noted the reluctance of victims to report such cases is; due to the culture of making it a taboo to raise anything relating to sex.
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