The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on the 19th of August 2022 handed over a letter of Provincial Registration as a member of the National Anti-corruption Coalition (NACC) to Blessing Sani, the Communications Officer at HEIR Women Hub in their office in Abuja.
ICPC had earlier declared sexual harassment as a form of corruption, this made HEIR Women Hub reach out to ICPC on the 6th of June during her project that was supported by Ford Foundation on Career Barriers and Workplace Sexual harassment against Young Women in Nigeria.
The HEIR Women Hub team met with Mrs. Bunmi Olugasa, the personal assistant to the Director-General of 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 institutions who stood in for the DG ICPC.
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 for the advocacy visit to ICPC. 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.
The Project Officer of HEIR Women Hub, Blessing Ejeh gave a rrundownon the findings of the research supported by Ford Foundation on Career Barriers and workplace Sexual harassment against young women in Nigeria (A case study of the FCT). She stated 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 applies to them.
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. Garba Akibu who also spelled out some CSO they had collaborated with and are currently working with ICPC on issues around sexual harassment. He also offered HWH a welcoming arm of future and productive collaborations.
Happy Anniversary to HEIR Women Hub and congratulations on this win.
HEIR Women Hub