The Centre for Awareness on Justice and Accountability (CAJA), a non-governmental and not-for-profit organisation based in Kano, Northwest Nigeria, has partnered with social media influencers in Northern Nigeria to amplify the war on sexual violence, particularly in Nigerian universities, and to promote survivors’ courage to speak up.
During the partnership inauguration on Saturday, Sept. 10, in Kano State, the executive director of the non-profit, Comrade Kabiru Dakata, stated that the partnership is intended to combat the cancerous problem of sexual harassment in the academia by promoting awareness using social media.
“Aside from the documentaries we have seen in the media, we have all met a female student who complained about being harassed by her teacher or requested sex for marks,” he said, adding that these problems prompted CAJA to collaborate with other nonprofits in fighting the menace.
He also stated that their preliminary research revealed that over 70 per cent of female students in Nigeria have experienced some form of harassment in school or work, whether physical, verbal, or gestural.
“People think that sexual harassment must be big issues like rape before they take it serious, but there are many forms of harassment that include as simple as licking lips, or inviting look that could make women nervous or uncomfortable,” Dakata added.
Social media influencers can help in the fight against sexual violence by raising awareness and encouraging survivors to speak up and demand justice. He explained that the collaboration is part of the project’s stakeholder engagement.
Barr. Maryam Ahmad, a lawyer with CAJA, highlighted key issues with the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill and urged influencers to pressure Nigeria’s president to sign the bill into law as her organisation has been doing since 2019.
“The bill intended to harmonise all policies in various tertiary institutions and to fill their gaps in order to have a uniform law that can punish all perpetrators of sexual harassments in a court of law,” she explained.
According to Ahmad, the pervasive problem of sexual harassment in academia necessitates an urgent and significant legal approach that can solve the problem once and for all.
Participants at the inauguration, which included university students, social media influencers, and journalists, expressed their enthusiasm for the new initiative and promised to commit to the partnership.
Sahelian Times journalist, Isma’il Auwal, advised influencers to be mindful of their surroundings and to avoid sending messages that are culturally and morally insensitive to their surroundings and audiences.
“Influencers should be aware of their audiences and understand that their messages are intended to influence people rather than distance them from their objectives,” he said, adding that they should prioritise raising awareness in their activities, particularly in places where people are not encouraged to speak up.
Social media hashtags #SayNo2SGBVonCampus and #AssentToSexualHarassmentBill were unveiled at the end of the programme for social media promotion.
Support Our Journalism
There are millions of ordinary people affected by conflict in Africa whose stories are missing in the mainstream media. HumAngle is determined to tell those challenging and under-reported stories, hoping that the people impacted by these conflicts will find the safety and security they deserve.
To ensure that we continue to provide public service coverage, we have a small favour to ask you. We want you to be part of our journalistic endeavour by contributing a token to us.
Your donation will further promote a robust, free, and independent media.Donate Here