Adopt Anti-Sexual Harassment Protocol Document into Nigeria’s Campus Curriculum

Adopt Anti-Sexual Harassment Protocol Document into Nigeria’s Campus Curriculum

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Women at Risk International Foundation started this petition to National Universities Commission and

Sexual harassment on campus is a type of gender-based violence that impacts negatively the personal dignity and safety of students in tertiary institutions. It disrupts the educational experience of the students and interferes with their ability to reach their full potential academically and in life.

It is not a new phenomenon in Nigerian tertiary institutions, there are several media reports that show the extent of this menace in the education sector.  It involves unwelcome sexual behaviours and advances towards female students especially. To back this up, a study conducted across various tertiary institutions in Nigeria shows that about 70% of the respondents had been sexually harassed, with the main perpetrators being male classmates and lecturers.

According to OHRC, if left unchecked, sexual harassment in the school setting has the potential to escalate to violent behaviour, including sexual assault. This can impact on the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of students, leading to cases of anxiety and depression amongst others.

Though the Nigerian Senate passed a bill on sexual harassment in tertiary institutions, it is yet to become a law. As a result, there are no policy documents to support the combating of sexual harassment on many campuses in Nigeria. Where these documents exist, there are no clear protocols for implementation.

This is why Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) in partnership with the EU-UN Spotlight initiative, developed a School-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SRSGBV) Protocol Document. This document provides an in-depth understanding of the prevalence and various forms of SRSGBV occurring in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, as well as a framework for the prevention and the response mechanisms necessary to address these issues on campuses. It further provides a monitoring and evaluation mechanism and guidelines to reflect the changing realities and individual campus peculiarities seen across the country.

This standardized document can be made available to all administrators, students, and members of the campus communities in Nigeria. It would be relevant in the adoption of SRSGBV prevention and response policies for these institutions.

The need for this protocol document was made clear after WARIF launched the online Prevention of Campus Sexual Violence in Tertiary Institutions Program in Nigeria. The project, which so far has been implemented in over 106 tertiary institutions across Nigeria, addresses, and tackles student-related sexual and gender-based violence on the various campuses in the country.

The education authority has a legal obligation to take actions to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in the education sector. It is not acceptable to ignore sexual harassment, therefore, we need tertiary institution councils to take urgent action now to protect students in their institutions from sexual harassment and break the biases that promote sexual and gender-based violence on our campuses.

We, therefore, urge you to take action by signing this petition, calling on the Federal Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission (NUC), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), National Council on Education (NCE), National Board for Technical Education, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Committee of Federal Polytechnic Rectors in Nigeria and other tertiary institution bodies to adopt the WARIF Sexual Harassment Protocol Document into the campus curriculum and as a ‘turn to’ document to assist in tackling the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence in campuses across Nigeria.

The Women at Risk International Foundation; WARIF is a nonprofit organization incorporated in December of 2016 to address the high incidence of rape, sexual violence and trafficking of young girls and women in countries across Nigeria and Africa.

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0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!