Nigerian lecturers are targets of sexual harassment bill – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), says bill passed by the Senate against sexual harassment targets university teachers.

The bill provides that lecturers found guilty of sexual harassment or making overtures towards female students could be jailed for two years.

Also, fines or jail terms await university administrators who fail to probe allegations of sexual misconduct against staff members.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan called it “landmark legislation. We have to protect our daughters from predators”.

On Monday, Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU National President, declared that the bill discriminates male lecturers.

He spoke at a Town Hall meeting organized by the University of Jos (UNIJOS) chapter.

Ogunyemi said the union doesn’t want a situation where male lecturers will be scared of teaching female students, “because they say we should not smile to them”.

He warned that a time may come when male lecturer will say “let them get female lecturers, let them get female supervisor”.

The president said such situation would not be healthy for the society.

Ogunyemi noted that male students too can be raped “in one way or the other and this has not been taken into account”

He pointed out that Nigeria already had laws that addressed issues of sexual harassment and rape.

“We have not seen the newly passed bill. We were told that our views will be taken into account and we said, if there are laws that already addressed the issues of harassment and rape, why are we duplicating efforts?”

“This should stop because they are stigmatizing. It is like they are labelling lecturers as criminals or potential criminals. We are against sexual harassment of our students. We do not support it in any form”, he stated.

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