An Advocacy Visit to Amnesty International

Photo from left to right: Añuli Aniebo Ola-Olaniy, ED HWD, Adetutu Oshagbami FO HWD, Blessing Ejeh, PO HWD, Osai Ojigho CD AI, Cecilia Oluwafisiayo Aransiola, Research AI, Blessing Sani, CO HWD, Michael, Media AI.

The HEIR Women Development team went to Amnesty International Abuja on Tuesday the 26th of April 2022 for an advocacy visit in line with our research on Career Barriers and Workplace Sexual Harassment against Young Women in Nigeria with support from Ford Foundation.

It was indeed an eye-opener as we met the Country Director, in the person of Osai Ojigho alongside her colleagues who unveiled a lot to us.

We aimed to seek implementable solutions to the menace of Sexual Harassment at workplaces. It was revealed that just a few years ago, ICPC declared sexual harassment as a form of corruption and their work in this light has succor the issue of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in our society.

Cecilia, a team member from Amnesty International disclosed that a lot of people cannot identify sexual harassment and more awareness needs to be created of this. She also said that people are becoming more aware but there is still a lot of people who are ignorant of this fact.

The HWD team went further to ask about the way forward in line with our research on Career Barriers and Workplace Sexual Harassment against Young Women in Nigeria. Osai Ojigho said that working with the labor congress is key. The Nigerian Labour Congress is a private representative of labor while the Ministry of Labour represents the state, this suggests that both of these entities are essential in achieving a shift. She also mentioned the creation of safe spaces for victims to report cases of Sexual harassment.

Another critical point that was raised during the visit was that many young women endured sexual harassment at the workplace because of poverty. Some of these women happen to be the breadwinners in their homes and the thought of this has left young women in a hostile work environment.

The Amnesty International team stressed the need to be practical with what is possible. Osai Ojigho concluded by saying we need a shift, as a shift will cause the change we all have been waiting for.

© HEIR Women Development.

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