Sexual harassment is gradually assuming critical dimensions in Nigeria’s higher education institutions. At Gender Mobile Initiative, our research findings and engagement with stakeholders have enabled us pinpoint the causes and pragmatic solutions to sexual harassment. An instance of this is a Focus Group Discussion held with 11 members of different student bodies in Ekiti State University, where participants indicated that factors such as a lack of clear definition on what constitutes sexual harassment could further perpetuate the culture of sexual harassment until it becomes an acceptable norm in environments of learning. They also highlighted other factors such as unequal power relations, lack of confidential reporting platforms and fear of being further victimized. The Sex for Grades video by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) further reinforced these points.
In response to this, Gender Mobile in partnership with the Ford Foundation launched the Campus Initiative project. In the last eighteen (18) months, our Campus Initiative implementation has morphed into partnerships with 101 tertiary education institutions for the design of individual institution’s context specific policy on sexual harassment prohibition and institutionalization of bystander intervention through the constitution of 30 Student Campus Ambassadors per institution.
Our next big step is to unveil the Campus Pal, our feature-rich platform with confidentiality-driven reporting, reported case tracking, support community/safe space that supports proactive bystander intervention, information escrow, access learning Centre to learn about policies, case appeal and on boarding information function.
The Campus Pal App launch is billed to draw the Heads of partner institutions and relevant agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, National Human Rights Commission, National Orientation Agency, Committee of Vice-Chancellors, Ministry of education, regulatory agencies such as the National Universities Commission, National Commission for Colleges of Education, National Board for Technical Education, Heads of Institutions, Civil Society organizations, media partners and student leaders across Nigeria.
The Keynote will be delivered by the Ekiti State First Lady and Feminist thinker, Bisi-Adeleye Fayemi and an informational panel session is expected to have critical stakeholders.
The event is scheduled for April 27, 2021 by 9:30am, at Rockview Royale Hotel Abuja.
For virtual participation at the launch event, please register using the link below:
Campus Pal Launch Registration: http://bit.ly/CampusPalLaunchregistration