The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), in collaboration with the civil society organisation Gender Mobile Initiative, has pledged to end sexual harassment in educational institutions throughout the country.
The pledges were made during a National Stakeholders Engagement seminar and Presentation on Model Policies on Sexual Harassment in Educational Institutions in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Chairman ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, said the culture of silence out of fear of reprisal and stigmatization had allowed sexual harassment thrive in some quarters.
According to Professor Owasanoye, with sensitisation and appropriate policy implementation it will change the narrative.
According to the ICPC’s boss, the Commission has established a unit with special training to deal with sexual harassment.
He explained that, “about 17 reports relating to Sexual Harassment have been received by the Commission, one resulted in a conviction via a plea bargain.
“One resulted in system study, one criminal case was recently filed in court while some other cases are still ongoing investigation.”
He added that the Commission was fully committed to educate its officers and the general public on what amounts to abuse of office through sexual harassment.
Also, the Minister of Education, Malami Adamu Adamu, represented by the , Registrar Joint Admission and Matriculation Board JAMB Professor Ishaq Oliyide, pledged the Ministry’s commitment to ensure the distribution of the sexual harassment template to all the concerned regulatory and agencies and educational institution in the country.
“Each employee shall be given copies of, policy on sexual harassment.”
The Minister assured that, the policy document when fully approved, will be implemented.
The Deputy Senate President, Mr. Ovie Omo-Agege represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Otive Igbuzor, enumerated some initiatives of the National Assembly stamp out sexual harassment.
The Executive Director Gender Mobile Initiative Miss Omowumi Ogunrotimi, said the NGO in collaboration with the ICPC will galvanize the ecosystem to achieve the desired change through policy engagement.
Meanwhile, the ICPC – FORD FOUNDATION project consultant Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa, while presenting the Anti-Harassment Policies for Education Institutions in Nigeria said that the when sexual harassment persistent, it reduces the value of education in the country.
She urged state governments to have policies on sexual harassment by ensuring adequate consequences are provided for offenders.
Students from different secondary schools were part of the seminar.