Sexual predators have turned the blessings in the student-educator fiduciary relationship of authority, dependency and trust to a source of torment, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has said.
Delivering a keynote address in Abuja on Thursday, at the Conference on Sexual Violence in Nigeria, Omo-Agege explained that this concern informed his decision to sponsor the Sexual Harassment Bill in the Senate.
Citing jurisdictions in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia with laws that, specifically penalize sexual harassment in educational institutions of higher learning, he noted that the Sexual Harassment Bill passed into law by the Senate was not in isolation.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Legislative and Plenary, Prince Efe Dukul at the event, Omo-Agege described sexual harassment in tertiary institutions as a sore point in our collective psyche and existence as civilized people.
“Coming further home in Africa, according to the 2018 World Bank Group’s Women (Business and the Law) report, about 11 Africancountries have laws that specifically penalize sexual harassment in educational institutions of higher learning. That same report however, regrets that in 65 percent of the economies of the world, young women and girls are not adequately protected from sexual harassment in their places of learning”, he said.
In a related report in collaboration with the Global Partnership for Education, the World Bank body observes that between 2013 and 2017, the level of sexual harassment in institutions of learning, dropped
from 57.5 percent to 55 percent in 141 of the 189 countries considered, it is dismally poor and even worse than the drop from 16 to 13.5 percent that obtained at work places within the same period of review.