The National Centre for Women Development, NCWD has come out to hail the Nigerian Senate over the Sexual Harassment Prevention Bill.
The Director-General of the NCWD, Mary Ekpere-Eta recently praised the lawmakers by describing the passage of the Bill as an important moment in the struggle for women empowerment.
According to her, the passage of the bill to criminalize sexual harassment of female students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria by the Senate means our leaders are hearing the cries of the women, which is a good development.
She added that Nigerian girls and women persistently face negative challenges in their quest for education and this trend has to stop.
Her words, “The passage of the bill to criminalize sexual harassment of female students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria by the Senate stands as a poignant moment in the push for women empowerment.”
“I joined other critical stakeholders at the public hearing on this important law. I am glad that our voices were heard, as we fully supported the bill which will act as a legal framework for protecting female students from unprofessional lecturers who practice and promote the dehumanizing culture of sex-for-grades.”
“Nigerian girls and women face different challenges in their quest for education. We still have places in our country where girls are overlooked when poor families are compelled to pick the children who will be sponsored in school.”
“We have stories of girls dropping out of school because they or other girls they know were raped in footpaths that lead to their schools. We also have girls who are married off at a young age to save money in their homes. It is girls who are sent out to hawk wares to augment their family’s income, despite the fact that they are exposed to danger.”
“We are also happy that the new legislation sanctions unprecedented sexual harassment in educational institutions by making it an offense and removing mutual consent as a defense in the prosecution of sexual harassment while making the formal walls conducive centres of learning.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of national urgency, assent to the Bill.”