CSO warns of possible sabotage in mining sector

CSO urges higher education institutions to agree to sexual harassment bill

Gender Mobile Initiative, a civil society organization, has called for President Bola Tinubu’s explicit and urgent assent to the Sexual Harassment in Higher Education Institutions Bill.

The organization said at a press conference in Abuja that the menace of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions and tertiary campuses is a matter of national concern that demands immediate action.

Chief CSO Omowumi Ogunrotimi says Nigeria’s tertiary institutions are hotspots for power-driven sexual crimes and the bill, if passed, will block the opportunity for victims to seek redress against perpetrators in competent courts. He said that he would ban the matter and create opportunities for it. justice.

He noted that as reported in a World Bank study, 70% of women graduating from tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been sexually harassed, and the statistics point to systemic and structural deficiencies. .

In her words, “The gravity of sexual harassment by power continues to be inadequately addressed and overshadowed by the harsh realities highlighted by the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and Law 2018 study.

“These heartbreaking numbers are not just statistics, they represent the lived experiences of countless young women whose educational journeys have been ruined by the fear of insidious harassment.

“This is not an isolated problem, but rather an epidemic that risks the integrity of the education system and the well-being of students, especially female students. We must address the root causes and dismantle the culture of sexual harassment in higher education institutions. We must take strong measures to prevent this.

“Various initiatives have been launched by various actors to combat this scourge of sexual harassment. “The Federal Ministry of Education’s support of an exemplary anti-sexual harassment policy,” she said.

Ogunrotimi said that despite efforts by stakeholders to curb the menace, critical gaps still exist and there is an urgent need for a legal framework to criminalize sexual harassment in higher education institutions. I lamented.

“The Anti-Sexual Harassment in Higher Education Institutions Bill offers a promising solution. This comprehensive law is designed to address the nuances of sexual harassment and provides a clear definition of the crime. , establishes strict penalties for perpetrators and outlines mechanisms for preventing and redressing sexual harassment.

“Unfortunately, despite the urgency of the matter, this bill remains on the desk of the President of Nigeria awaiting his stamp of approval. This delay is discouraging, and educational institutions There are concerns about efforts to eradicate sexual harassment within Japan.

“The President recently signed the Student Loan Bill, a laudable initiative aimed at giving students access to interest-free education loans, but the trauma of sexual harassment can undermine the educational journey. If this happens, the effectiveness of this empowerment will be diminished.”

“Addressing sexual harassment in higher education institutions is not just a moral imperative, it is a national emergency that requires swift and decisive action.

“The president’s actions, or lack thereof, will send a powerful message about this country’s values ​​and its commitment to fostering an environment in which all students, especially girls, can thrive,” she said. added.

Source: dailypost.ng

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