SEXUAL HARASSMENT / VICTIMIZATION IN NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES: AN IMPEDIMENT TO EFFECTIVE UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION
Abstract

Author(s): U. Aja-Okorie

The issues surrounding sexual harassment and victimization in the past two decades globally have become a matter of concern and are gradually becoming a public discourse. More so, our higher instituti ons are becoming breeding ground for all sorts of anti-social behaviours. These have continued to negatively affect academic freedom and excellence. The discourse identified low reporting as a major constraint towards eradication of this evil that has bedeviled our school system. The exact incidents are seldom available coupled with the fact that its’ occurrence is shroud in secrecy many perpetrators go undetected and unpunished. In Nigeria scenario, it appears to be more challenging, because there is no clear-cut legislation that explicitly defines what constitutes sexual harassment as well as no provisions to sanction offenders of sexual harassment and victimization. The paper contends that cases are becoming not only widespread in Nigeria higher institutions but also adversely affecting academic growth. It reiterated that despite its fraught in controversies it contributes to academic setbacks in our higher institutions. It argues that the negative effects on the females are high. The women constitute mostly the victims. It creates low self-esteem in them and invariably contributes to poor participation to academic activities, which can lead to poor academic results and low achievement. It advocates the need for university management to mainstream sexual harassment and victimization into governing policies such as in criminalizing it. University management structures should be strengthened and staff sensitized to mobilize actions towards eradication of sexual harassment and victimization on campus. Government also needs to promulgate explicit laws that specifically address sexual harassment as stiff punishable offences in order to serve as a deterrent to possible offenders. Keywords: Sexual Harassment and Victimization, Legislation, Higher Education, University Management, Nigeria

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