DevelopmentGender & SGBVNews

Centre Trains Students On Reporting Sexual Harassment In Public Institutions As Cases Grow

In an effort to address the pervasive issue of sexual harassment in public institutions, especially on the hills of protests at the University of Calabar, a non-profit has trained tertiary students in Kano, Nigeria, on reporting such incidents. 

The Centre for Awareness on Justice and Accountability (CAJA) has trained students of tertiary institutions in Kano State, North West Nigeria, on reporting sexual harassment and other gender-based violence on Saturday, Aug. 19.

CAJA is a nonprofit organization based in Kano that works in collaboration with USAID and Palladium to combat sexual and gender-related violence, particularly in public institutions. 

Twenty students were selected from various institutions for the training on different ways to document and report sexual harassment to authorities within their schools and to step down the training in their various institutions.

According to Akibu Hamisu, the Programs Officer at CAJA, the training was designed to curtail the prevalent cases of sexual harassment in schools, which mostly go unreported.

“It is aimed at equipping the students with the necessary tools and ideas that can help them champion the cause of fighting against sexual harassment in public institutions,” Hamisu said.

Sexual harassment is a persistent problem in Nigerian tertiary institutions. Last week, the internet was awash with stories of protests carried out by students from the University of Calabar, who demanded accountability for their Dean, accused of sexual assault and harassment. 

“The students have been working with us on Cluster Against Sexual Harassment and are here to gain more perspectives on how to deal with the issue,” Hamidu said of the trainees.

Some of the participants told HumAngle they gained new knowledge, especially on online tools and other ways that can help them in writing reports and documenting SGBV cases.

Zainab Nasir Muhammad, a student from the School of Health Technology in Kano, says she has learned how to speak up for herself and others through raising awareness and documenting evidence that can lead to the prosecution of perpetrators.

“I’ll go back to my school and work with the school authorities to step down this training for other students,” she said.

Maryam Ibrahim, a student leader at Aminu Kano College of Islamic and Legal Studies, said that as a Muslim student leader in her school, she would use her influence to bring about change and raise awareness in her school.

“I have come across many cases of gender violence, but now I have the knowledge and the skills to report cases and publish views in newspapers,” she said.

On his part, Ahmad Abba, a participant from School of Health Technology, explained that he gained new insights on how to avoid victim blaming and other prejudices that may hinder achieving justice. 

“It’s a new concept to me,” he admitted. “Understanding this will help me in standing for the victim without looking at other minor issues that may carry people away from accusing a perpetrator to blaming the victim.” 

In 2019, a BBC Africa Eye investigation exposed cases of sexual harassment in universities in Nigeria and Ghana. Though it drew widespread attention, the problem persists. 

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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