A BBC report on sexual harassment and some blatant trading of sex for grades has raised a lot of concern within different levels of communities in Ghana and Nigeria. A Nigerian professor and pastor has been suspended from his church and university on this issue. In Ghana a lecturer of the University of Ghana cited in this report also faces suspension.
Whilst this has only been reported in University of Ghana and University of Lagos when these things happen we must as a society accept full responsibility for them. The questions we need to ask are what must we do to address these ills.
Below is some information provide by the University of of Ghana :
Members of the University community are reminded of the provisions of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy, and also encouraged to report any acts of sexual harassment and misconduct accordingly. To facilitate this process, additional communication channels have been created; Telephone: 050-736-8053 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are my additional recommendations:
- There is power in numbers. It is important that survivors band together in seeking justice. They will help provide support for each other.
- All discerning men and women who have a deep understanding of sexual harassment have to rally behind the survivors/victims
- The Federation of Women Lawyers and all lawyers who are disgusted by this cancer in our academic institutions must help protect victims/survivors from being bullied into silence for justice to be served.
- Volunteer therapist and counselors are needed for psychosocial support for those who speak out because it is not an easy process for these young ladies to fight a system that is skewed against them.
- It is time for every discerning UG alumni in powerful positions with powerful local and international influences to pull in their weight, to ensure the right thing is done, Justice is served, the professors who are found guilty of this filth are flushed out of the system.
- The university and other similar institutions should provide a comprehensive handbook to students that allows them to know their rights and procedures of reporting when this is violated.
- Students, you are the future leaders. Form a coalition on campus with patrons who are lecturers of good repute, legal persons, therapists and powerful alums who are committed to students safety and be a force on your own to be reckoned with. Serve as a safe place and push for justice for students on campus who are sexually harassed. Do not let fear keep you clammed up. That Era is over.
- Students must recognize and use the power that they have, conduct their own research on the prevalence of sexual harassment from authority figures on campus. The knowledge from these will provide the statistics that would drive any desired change. Don’t wait for anyone to do this for you.
- For those who believe in prayer, add fasting and prayers. My personal philosophy of life is ‘Work like everything depends on working, pray like everything depends on prayer’
We all have been called for such a time as this. Always remember, we are the ‘they’ that will ensure our young ones learn in peace and are treated with the dignity and respect they need.
#MeToo #MeTooGh #MeTooGhana #ChurchToo
Emefa Gadze is a Ghanaian woman, she is the founder of Single Parents Support Network and blogs at https://emefa.gadze.wordpress.com
Feature photo courtesy Myjoyonline.com