The Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) has been called upon to join the campaign against the sexual harassment of girls and young women at workplaces by delisting on any organizations found culpable of the menace.
A non Governmental organisation, HEIR Women Development, made the call in Abuja during a 1-day workshop tagged “Career Barriers and Workplace Sexual Harassment Against Young Women in Nigeria”.
The Executive Director, Añuli Ola-Olaniyi, said the prevalence of sexual harassment of girls and young women at work makes them unproductive and unable to contribute their quota to national development.
She, therefore, stressed the need for full implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act to protect women and as well punish offenders.
According to Ola-Olaniyi, a research conducted by the organisation in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) revealed that 51% of women have been sexually harassed with 3 in 4 women raped at work and 13% were women living with disabilities, while 78% said they were sexually harassed by their bosses.
“The prevalence of sexual harassment at workplaces is quite alarming, there is a need for girls and young women to be given an opportunity in the workplace to carry out their responsibilities. Lots of young women are underemployed or not employed and so are unable to take financial responsibility for themselves, participate in politics or go into public spaces without being harassed. This prompted this research.” She said
The Executive Director, therefore, stressed the need for more awareness of sexual harassment in workplaces as a lot of young women do not understand what it means.
She noted that both employees, employers, bosses, and human resources organisations have no idea how sexual harassment traumatises young women.
The Country Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said sexual harassment in the workplace was a global menace and called on organisations to create safe spaces for women and girls at work by ensuring that a sexual harassment policy was in place to address such issues.
Reprting by Azizatu Sani; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino