ADVOCACY VISIT TO ICPC
The HEIR Women Hub team paid a visit to
Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Abuja on the 6th of June 2022 to talk further on the project: Career Barriers and Workplace Sexual Harassment against Young Women in Nigeria (using Abuja as a case study). This project ran for 8 months and was supported by Ford Foundation.
We met with Mrs. Bunmi Olugasa, the personal assistant to the Director-General Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission
(ICPC) and also the Project Officer for the Sexual Harassment in Educational Institutions in Secondary and Tertiary. She stood in for the DG ICPC.
HEIR Women Hub Project officer, Blessing Ejeh shared our research findings and also spoke about the extent the team went to gather data, stating that in the nearest future HWH hopes to go around the 36 states of Nigeria to conduct the same research to gather findings as each state in Nigeria has what is applicable for them.
The Executive Director of HEIR Women Development, Añuli Aniebo Ola-Olaniyi appreciated ICPC for sending a representative to our workshop on career barriers held in April 2022, also stating that their presence was part of the reason we decided to pay an advocacy visit to them. Mentioning clearly that ICPC considers Sexual Harassment as a form of corruption that is punishable just as other corrupt practices. She went further to mention our aim for visiting which is; How do we ratify, educate and prosecute persons in this category, both victims and offenders.
Mrs. Olugasa appreciated HEIR Women Hub for reaching out and also spoke on the existing gap in sexual harassment-related cases. She said that tackling the menace of sexual harassment can be equated to a relay race where one needs 4 strong men to achieve success, meaning many more hands needs to be on deck to manage the issue of Sexual Harassment at workplaces. She agreed that ICPC has considered Sexual Harassment as a form of corruption.
Speaking on the gaps in Sexual Harassment, she said the clamor should be on improving the law, although people keep finding different ways of beating the law. She spoke on the perpetrators having the concept of gratification of benefits. Gratification can come in so many ways and sexual favors is one of the ways and because it is an abuse of power, it is considered an offense.
The team also had a chat with Mr. Akibu who also spelled out some CSO they had collaborated with and are currently working with on issues around sexual harassment. He also offered HWH a welcoming arm of future and productive collaborations.
In conclusion, she expressed the willingness of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to work with HEIR Women Hub in the nearest future to bridge the gap in matters that concerns sexual harassment.
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