Reps suspend bill seeking punishment for sexual harassment in tertiary institutions

House of Reps

The House of Representatives on Thursday suspended deliberations on a bill seeking to make provisions for the prohibition and punishment of sexual harassment of students in educational institutions.

The bill, sent to the House for concurrence from the Senate, was suspended because it is restricted to higher institutions only.

Presenting the bill for second reading, the House Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos-APC), said the Bill needed to be expanded to accommodate other forms of sexual harassment beyond higher institutions.

“The way the bill is now is restrictive. It restricts its enforcement to only higher institutions of learning. What about secondary schools and the work place?

“I have concerns over this bill before we concur to it because it did not talk about sexual harassment in the banks, churches and homes.

“We should look for a way to widen its scope to encompass sexual harassment in other places.

But Aminu Shagari (Sokoto-APC) urged the House to go ahead with the concurrence while other aspects could be accommodated later.

Ayo Omidiran (Osun-APC) in her contribution said: “As a woman, I know sexual harassment can take place anywhere be it in market, church or work place; sexual harassment is sexual harassment anywhere.

“And women too harass men not only men harass women, so there should be different segments of harassment and it should be accommodated in the bill.

Ruling on the matter, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, said there might be a need to write the Senate to inform them about what should be included or not.

“And for that reason we shall adjourn this debate pending when we have done proper consultations on the bill,” Mr. Dogara added. (NAN)


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  • Ukpaka

    Useless National Assembly and Senate!. Can’t put together a simple bill but knows how to blow hot air about whether somebody wears uniform or not. Money spent on either house is money wasted. They’re just good at impeding development and aiding corrupt practices. This simple bill will take 4yrs with their meaningless protocol. This is what we pay billions yearly for?. The most selfish people on earth!.

  • Moore

    I concur with the house of representatives. Sexual harassment can happen anyehere; work places , worship places, higher institutions, secondary and primary schools, political offices, motor parks. Also, it can be from a woman to a man and vice versa. Besides, what constitute harassment should be clearly defined. Sexual harassment in higher institutions is not more than the harassment at the national assembly. Furthermore, it is unreasonable to make a law to ban legitimate relationships between two adults. Clear lines should be drawn between those abusing the trust reposed on them by their positions. In the Universities, there are postgraduate an even under graduate students who may find their life time partners within the system. Also, law cannot be used to deny people already married to staff of these institutions from becoming students of the same institution as their spouses. It is a very good law that is needed but must be all encompassing and should not be used to target a particular group.