SexForGrades: Panelists want FG to support Nigerian media

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TOUN Okewale-Sonaiya, the Chief Executive Officer, Women Radio 91,7FM, Abuja has called on the Federal Government to support Nigerian media and create environment conducive for them to perform.

Okewale-Sonaiya , made the call with other members of the panel at a BBC, SexForGrades Documentary and Discussion, at the Baze University, Abuja, on Monday.

The theme of the discussion is: “Towards structural reforms and solutions to curb the menace of sexual harassment in our tertiary institutions”.

They called on the Federal Government to properly fund the government-owned media outfits to make necessary impact in informing, educating and enlightening the Nigerian citizens.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that BBC Africa Eye has been secretly investigating sexual harassment by lecturers at West Africa’s most prestigious universities in Ghana and Nigeria.

The one hour documentary uncovers the dirty tricks of university lecturers and the transactional exchange of sexual favours for grades that they perpetuate.

The reporter, Miss Kiki Mordi goes undercover to exhume this menace to the world, saying ‘it’s everything we needed it to be.’

Other panelists were:  Kiki Mordi, the journalist behind the documentary, Ndi Kato Founder Dinidari Foundation, Catherine Okafor, Dean Faculty of Law, Baze University, a veteran journalist, Moji Makanjuola, and Bukky Williams, Executive Director, Education as a Vaccine.

According to them, it is quite imperative to provide not just funding, but create an enabling environment for the media to carry out their duty effectively.

The panelists said that one of the roles of the media was to inform the public about the happenings in the country.

They also called on the media to stop blaming victims of sexual harassment, saying their responsibility should be on the perpetrators to know and do better.

Speaking on sexual harassment bill, the panel said it was not a lack of legislation, but Nigeria needs to deal with a lack of political will to implement laws.

According to them, the proposed bill on sexual harassment was great, but the country needs a lot of content analysis.

“There is need for the government to enforce the law and to ensure solution-driven conversations.

“We also need to move to the spaces where we can find lasting solutions to the issue.

“We can’t dwell on just formulating laws. We need to move from passing laws to implementing them.

“We must create safe spaces for victims and survivors of sexual harassment and violence to report and talk.

“Regardless of wherever this cancer has spread in our society, schools, offices, churches or mosques, we must ensure that perpetrators face the consequences of their actions,” they said.

The panelists also urged the government to make laws that would not victimised the victims of sexual harassment and prevent them from coming forward to report.

According to them, there is need for the Federal Government and the media to expand the conversation and awareness on sexual harassment to all schools and institutions in the country

NAN

-Oct 14, 2019 @18:15 GMT |

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