Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill

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The Nigeria Senate  has passed a bill seeking to stop sexual abuse of female students in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

The Sexual Harassment Bill which was read the third time and passed on Tuesday was a sequel to the consideration of the report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters presented by the Chairman and Senator representing Ekiti Central on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Opeyemi Bamidele.

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo -Agege sponsored the bill christened: “The proposed legislation titled “A Bill for an Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions and for other matters connected therewith 2019” alongside 105 other Senators.

The bill which defines sexual offences as including sexual intercourse with a student or demands for sex from a student or a prospective student or intimidating or creating a hostile or offensive environment for the student by soliciting for sex or making sexual advances has 27 clauses and proposes up to 14 years jail term, with a minimum of 5 years, without an option of fine for any educator who commits sexual offences in tertiary institutions.

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Other forms of sexual harassment identified in the Sexual Harassment Bill are grabbing, hugging, kissing, rubbing, stroking, touching, pinching the breasts or hair or lips or hips or buttocks or any other sensual part of the body of a student; or sending by hand or courier or electronic or any other means naked or sexually explicit pictures or videos or sex related objects to a student, and whistling or winking at a student or screaming, exclaiming, joking or making sexually complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student’s physique or stalking a student.

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