After the BBC report on #SexforGrades, many institutions of higher learning in Nigeria promised reforms and punishment of erring staff among other measures. Four years on, little to no tangible result has been produced.
From this, as well as other lived experiences, the GirlLead Project was birthed. With support from the IVLP grant, the Stand To End Rape Initiative (STER) produced and distributed educational tools and printable IEC materials in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria to teach Nigerian women and girls actionable steps to take after experiencing an incidence of sexual violence.
An inception meeting was conducted at Baze University Abuja on 24th January 2023 and a subsequent one at Rivers State University on January 25, 2023. The purpose of these meetings was to kick off the project and introduce the project to the leadership of the institutions in order to get their buy-in and support as well as to deploy the baseline survey.
The results of these surveys would help inform policy changes and influence programming at both the institution and the Stand To End Rape Initiative. STER’s survivor forms were also shared with students to report any case of sexual violence they have faced in order to provide them with any support they may need.
Ms. Osowobi who led the STER team introduced the organisation and the work that STER has been doing since 2014, including the initiative where STER works with Universities in Nigeria to create awareness, strengthen policies as well as address sexual harassment on campuses.
She said the organisation identified Baze University and Rivers State University to create awareness within the university community and place IEC materials in strategic places for the students to read and seek counselling/support from the Counselling department when the need arises.