NFF Condemns Sexual Harassment In Nigerian’s Tertiary Institutions

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The Nigeria Feminist Forum (NFF) has Condemned in totality the alarming sexual harassment in higher institutions in the country and calls for comprehensive policy implementation to curb the menace.

NFF in a statement issued and signed by its
Communications/Programmes Assistant, Adaeze Ekpunobi expressed concern over the recent allegations of sexual harassment against Cyril Ndifon, a professor at the University of Calabar, Cross River State.

The statement said “We strongly condemn any form of sexual harassment and stand in solidarity with the brave female students who have come forward to voice their experiences.

“The suspension of Mr. Ndifon from his position as Dean of the Faculty of Law is a necessary step towards addressing the serious allegations against him.

“However, this incident highlights the urgent need for a comprehensive and enforceable sexual harassment policy within higher learning institutions across Nigeria.

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“The Nigeria Feminist Forum calls on all universities and higher education institutions to prioritize their students’ and staff’s safety and well-being by implementing clear and robust sexual harassment policies.

“These policies should encompass stringent measures to prevent and address incidents of sexual harassment, ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

“It is deeply concerning that this is not the first time Mr. Ndifon has faced allegations of sexual misconduct. The previous suspension in 2015 following accusations of rape raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the measures taken to address such misconduct.

“The lack of clear evidence exonerating him after his 2015 suspension is a cause for alarm and underscores the importance of a transparent and just investigation process”

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The Nigeria Feminist Forum no ever urged the University of Calabar and all institutions of higher learning across the country to establish an impartial and expert-led panel to thoroughly investigate the allegations against Mr. Ndifon.

The forum also called for the active participation and protection of survivors throughout the investigation to ensure that their voices are heard and their rights respected.

“Furthermore, the NFF advocates for the establishment of confidential reporting mechanisms, support services, and awareness campaigns aimed at preventing and addressing sexual harassment on campuses.

“It is imperative that a culture of respect, dignity, and equality be fostered within academic environments where everyone can thrive without fear of harassment or discrimination.

“We call upon university administrators, policymakers, and civil society to collaborate in crafting and enforcing comprehensive sexual harassment policies that guarantee the safety and dignity of all individuals within higher education institutions” the statement enthused.

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The Nigeria Feminist Forum is committed to supporting initiatives that promote gender equality, address sexual harassment, and create a conducive learning environment for all.

The Nigerian Feminist Forum is also a public policy forum of Nigerian women who self-define themselves as feminists and are recognized to ‘walk the talk’ in our fundamentalist and extremely vulnerable contexts, promoting gender equality, women’s rights, and social justice in Nigeria.

The NFF works to create a more inclusive and equitable society through awareness campaigns and policy advocacy. This forum became a reality in 2007 and has been in existence since 2008. The African Charter on Feminist Principles guides its work and engagements.

 

 




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