Sexual Harassment Bill targeted at our members - ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) says the recent Sexual Harassment Bill passed by the National Assembly is targeted at its members.

Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, the National President of ASUU, made this at a Town Hall meeting on Monday in Jos, the Plateau state capital.

The ASUU President described the passage of the bill as a way to victimize university lecturers. Ogunyemi revealed that the passage of the Rape Bill does not go well with the union.

He said,” Our reaction to that Bill is that it is discriminatory and is targeted at male lecturers.

“We don’t want a situation, where male lecturers will begin to say they don’t want to teach female students, because they say we should not smile to female students.

“So a time may come, when male lecturer will say, we won’t teach female students, let them get female lecturers, let them get a female supervisor.

“I'm not sure, we want that, and that is not also healthy for society. Because at one point or the other, there will be a point of interface. So, what we are seeing is that we have laws in the society, that already addressed issues of sexual harassment, issues of rape.

“Another form of victimization is that male students can also be raped in one way or the other and this has not been taken into account or has this type of bill passed.

“We went to the public hearing and we read our objections, well, we have not seen the newly passed bill, but, what we are told is that our views will be taken into account and we said if they are laws in the society that already addressed the issues of harassment and rape, why are we duplicating efforts?”

He added: “iI it meant to cover all and some strata of the educational system, which means it could be a bill meant to cover all genders or both genders, male or female, which we have not seen. Our worry is that all their talks is centred on the higher institutions, which should stop because they are stigmatising and is like they are labelling lecturers as criminals or potential criminals.”

Ogunyemi said,” we can still raise our voices against that bill to ensure that it will promote equity, fairness, and then, that is where we can have justice for all. We are against sexual harassment of our students. We do not support it in any form.”

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