By Chinenye Festus:-
The sexual harassment Bill which was passed by the Senate on Tuesday proposed two to 14 years for sexual harassment convictions. The bill titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions and for Matters Concerned Therewith, 2019’, seeks to promote and protect ethical standards in tertiary institutions.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily Thursday, Dr. Odukoya, a former chairman of the University of Lagos chapter of ASUU, said the operational word in the bill is “educators,” which, according to him, picks the tertiary institutions as a special case and not fair for an offence that is common in the society.
“There is no doubt that girls or the womenfolk are much more vulnerable in our society, but that is not sufficient to make laws that just look out for their interest, boys and men are equally sexually harassed in different setups in the society,” he said.
The lecturer criticized the bill for focusing on lecturer-student harassment, saying it ignored an equally prevalent issue in higher institutions, which is student-to-student harassment.
Referring to the cardinal principles of law, Dr. Odukoya said they (lecturers) are against the sexual harassment bill saying, “You don’t make laws that are discriminatory and tries to criminalize a particular set of people. It is wrong to discriminate against higher institutions and criminalize lecturers because this is a crime that is society-wide.”
The bill titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions and for Matters Concerned Therewith, 2019’, seeks to promote and protect ethical standards in tertiary institutions.
It also seeks to protect students against sexual harassment as well as prevent sexual harassment of students by educators in tertiary institutions.
He noted that while the bill is focused solely on educational institutions, it also failed to protect the male folk. The lecturer also said that while the females are vulnerable, males are equally getting sexually harassed.
By Chinenye Festus:-