ICPC seeks collaboration with HEIR Women Dev. on sexual harassment at work

Folalumi Alaran

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) has reached out to HEIR Women Development in the fight against workplace sexual harassment.

The Team Leader of Constituency Project Monitoring Group at ICPC, Mr. Akibu Garba, engaged in his speech at a one-day workshop titled “Career Obstacles and Sexual Harassment in the Place against young women in Nigeria”, organized by HEIR Women Development with the support of the Ford Foundation.

Garba reiterated that the commission views sexual harassment as a corrupt practice, emphasizing the need for victims to know their rights and how to seek justice if the threat is to be eradicated.

He noted that the ICPC Sexual Harassment Policy signed by its President, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, is a zero tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment in its offices nationwide, with disciplinary action. clearly stated.

“The sexual harassment conversation is relevant, we have so many investigations and recommendations on how to tackle the threat in our own sexual harassment handbook and we pass new staff on because sexual harassment is too much and so we work with agencies and NGOs to stem it.

“We view sexual harassment as a corrupt practice, but victims need to know their rights and know how to seek justice, and that is why we would like to partner with HEIR Women Development in this advocacy to ensure this crime is completely eradicated,” did he declare.

Similarly, the FCT Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Response Team Case Officer, Ngozi Ike, expressed concern over the alarming cases of sexual harassment of women, regretting that most citizens do not understand not what it means to sexually harass a woman. its prevalence.

“It happens all over our society today and it involves unwelcome comments and advances from the opposite sex and even the same sex. Some people don’t understand what it means to sexually harass a woman that’s why advocacy is important as it is a crime of sexual assault in the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) .

She therefore praised HEIR Women’s decision to fight crime, also stressing the need for high-level advocacy and organizations’ policies on sexual harassment for employees to commit to before starting work in order to that the culprits be prosecuted if found guilty.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International Nigeria Country Director Osai Ojigho described sexual harassment in the workplace as a global threat that needs to be tackled, also stressing the need for safe spaces for women and working girls in Nigeria.

Ojigho called on all organizations tolerating this ugly trend to change their practices by ensuring that they establish a sexual harassment policy that can give survivors a voice.

In her welcoming remarks, Executive Director (ED) HEIR Women Dev. Añuli Aniebo Ola-Olaniyi, denounced the prevalence of sexual harassment of girls and young women at work, saying it makes them unproductive and unable to contribute their quota to national development.

According to Ola-Olaniyi, the organization’s research in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of 1060 respondents comprising 1000 online surveys and 60 in-depth interviews shows that 51% of women have been sexually harassed with 3 out of 4 women raped in work and 13% of respondents were women with disabilities, while 78% of respondents said they were sexually harassed by bosses.

She called on the Commission for Cooperative Affairs (CAC) to join the campaign against sexual harassment of girls and young women in the workplace by de-listing all organizations found guilty of the threat of the house of the company, just as she urged all stakeholders to also join in the advocacy.

The highlight of the workshop was the panel discussion with over six panelists, including survivors of ordeal solutions to address sexual harassment against women and girls, and the unveiling of a book titled “More than just pretty” written by the organizer.

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