Why Tinubu Must Sign Bill Criminalising Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Schools

Sexual harassment in tertiary institutions remains a prevalent issue in Nigeria.

Development Diaries reports that a recent video, which has since gone viral on social media, has shown a man alleged to be a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt molesting a female student.

Another viral social media video has depicted a lecturer caught in the act with a university student.

In August 2023, aggrieved female law students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) protested against alleged sexual harassment. The students besieged the office of the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Florence Obi, demanding the immediate removal of the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Cyril Ndifon, for allegedly sexually harassing them.

The prevalence of sexual harassment in Nigerian higher institutions reflects broader societal attitudes towards gender and power dynamics, and it highlights the urgent need for needed reforms and interventions.

This brings to light the need for President Bola Tinubu to assent to the Sexual Harassment Prohibition in Tertiary Education Institutions Bill that is currently before him.

We understand that the bill, which seeks to promote and protect ethical standards in tertiary institutions, proposes up to a 14-year jail term for offenders and seeks to protect students against sexual harassment as well as prevent sexual harassment of students by educators.

Having a legal framework to tackle this menace will provide the urgency needed for it.

Also, there is a need for universities and colleges to prioritise the implementation of robust policies and mechanisms to prevent, address, and sanction instances of sexual harassment.

Development Diaries calls on the authorities of the schools to commission a thorough and unbiased investigation into the allegations.

We also call on President Tinubu to sign into law the proposed anti-sexual harassment bill, which seeks to promote and protect ethical standards in tertiary institutions by protecting students against sexual harassment by educators.


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