Sexual harassment in Nigerian higher institutions is often underreported, under-researched and mostly overlooked. In 2016, the Nigerian Senate introduced a bill in response to the menace. Unfortunately, the bill was tossed out shortly after.
The Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Education Institutions Bill prescribed a 5 years jail term but not less than 2 years without the option of a fine for educators found guilty of sexual offences targeted at students in higher institutions.
Following the public outrage that was awakened by the ‘Sex For Grades’ BBC documentary which was done in collaboration with STER, in October 2019, the bill was reintroduced. It has now passed the second reading stage and is on its way to the third reading and final stage. It is our collective responsibility to push for its adoption so it is not thrown out like it was in 2016.
The fight against sexual harassment in our higher institutions must be institutionalized and firmly backed up by the law and the anti-sexual harassment bill is a great place to start.
Therefore, we are calling on students, student bodies, organisations and influencers in higher institutions across the country to join us in raising awareness and advocating for the adoption of this bill. We need you and your voice matters. This is for now and for the future.
Join STER in raising your voice and advocating for the adoption of this bill using the hashtag, #SexualHarassmentBill. We need your help to promote this conversation online and offline by engaging your friends, colleagues, followers, peers, and community members about the bill and why it is necessary for us to protect our students and create a stable, secure environment for them to learn.
One voice alone cannot do this, and that is why we need you; we need a community. This is a worthy cause and we look forward to your joining us in solidarity.