Nigeria: Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill Urgent, Timely, Says Ita-Giwa

16 October 2019

Former Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters and the leader of the Bakassi people in Cross River State, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, has again reiterated the need to speed up the deliberation and passage of the new anti- sexual harassment bill by the Senate.

Ita-Giwa's call is against the backdrop of the BBC Africa Eye 'Sex for Grades' documentary where two lecturers were filmed making immoral advances to their supposed students.

Before this development, the former senator said she had always lamented that the issue of sexual harassment against women was becoming prevalent in the society and should be checked.

At a time, to show her disgust for this immoral act, she had advocated that sexual harassers "should even be castrated."

In a statement issued by her, Ita Giwa commended the Senate, especially the sponsor of the bill, Senator Ovie Omo Agege, for revisiting it and identifying with victims of sexual harassment.

She opined that harassment against students or workers was unacceptable as the country's educational system and the workplace had been theatres of abuses.

The former presidential adviser also urged victims of sexual harassment to speak up and never be cowed into sweeping allegations under the carpet "but to stand up and collectively fight the ugly trend."

She stated that women should first of all uphold their dignity and self-respect towards ensuring a sexual abuse-free society.

According to the statement, "It's time again to stand up against the ills of sexual harassment. I have always advocated for this, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to ensure the bill is speedily passed for presidential assent.

"We can't continue to fold our arms while we watch debased and animalistic individuals abuse our girls and women in whatever guise.

"The law must be used to checkmate and prosecute them in other to serve as deterrent to others who may be conceiving the same idea.

"I urge victims to stand up and report all cases, while I advised that they shouldn't be stigmatised in any form."

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