LASG Seeks End to Gender Violence In Tertiary Institutions

INSIDEMAINLAND– The Lagos State Government on Monday pledged to checkmate the rising sexual harassment in tertiary institutions in the State.

The Commissioner for women’s affairs and poverty alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, during the stakeholder’s meeting held in Ikeja, Lagos Mainland spoke on the domestication of sexual harassment policy utilizing gender lenses in tertiary education institutions in Lagos State.

She claimed that the anti-harassment policy, which previously existed at federal institutions in Nigeria, was being fervently introduced to tertiary institutions in Lagos State as a result of the training.

According to Dada, the goal of this policy is to address and avoid situations where students and employees’ dignity is abused at work.

“Sexual harassment is not a new phenomenon in our tertiary Institutions the girl child mostly, suffer insidious various forms of violence, exploitations and abuses.

“Violence in forms of sexual harassment against the girl-child, is at an alarming increase, surmounting daily, for instance, educational harassment; Lecturers cajoling students for sex to upgrade marks and sometimes it could be to satisfy the sexual desires of men as a  social being,” she said.

Dada claimed that the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda for a Greater Lagos, which is led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind, notably sexual harassment and rape among its populace.

Also, the state government had taken the initiative through various legal and policy frameworks to support the right of the girl child, including the Domestic Violence Law of 2007 and the Yellow Cards for the prevention of all forms of Child Abuse and the Child Rights Law of 2015.

Furthermore, the government has sponsored a number of seminars, workshops, and campaigns in the past to combat all types of violence and abuse, including “A Day Capacity Building Workshop for Student Leaders on Curbing Sexual & Gender Based Violence,” “A Day Capacity Building on How to Achieve Good Parenting,” “A Day Capacity Building Workshop for Boys,” and others.

Meanwhile, Adeniran Kasali, Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Special Adviser on Education, disclosed in a statement that the Ministry’s efforts to sensitize the target audience through numerous seminars, workshops, and other programs were unquestionably laudable.

Gender-based violence, he added, was a highly delicate topic in the socio-political and socio-economic activities, and raising awareness about it would go a long way toward domesticating the sexual harassment policy effectively.

“Hardly you get a daily news bulletin without someone being sexually harassed. It happens in all social communities. In institutions of higher learning, it is more pronounced, may be because campuses were populated by younger adults with exuberances,” Kasali said.

The Permanent Secretary commended WAPA for its efforts to reduce sexual harassment in tertiary institutions and workplaces and recommended that all hands must be on deck to achieve this urgent goal for the benefit of everyone.

The domestication of a sexual harassment policy, according to one of the players, Prof. Omotayo Ige Bolodeoku, Dean, faculty of Law, University of Lagos, was a positive step in the right direction in reducing sexual harassment in higher institutions.

He added that there needed to be a behavioral code of conduct for both students and professors and that it was crucial that higher institutions have a strategy in place to address occurrences of sexual harassment.

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