President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, has said that the recently passed bill on sexual harassment by the Senate is targeted at male university lecturers.
He added that the bill also labelled university lecturers as criminals and potential criminals. Ogunyemi spoke at the weekend during a town hall meeting with stakeholders in the education sector held at the University of Jos.
“The bill is discriminatory, it’s targeted at male lecturers and had also labelled lecturers as criminals and potential criminals.
“ASUU is against sexual harrassment of both female and male students, but we wonder why the Senate bill specifically targeted university lecturers while it should be for all in the education sector, we are surprised after our views during the public hearing, ASUU raised her objections made their position known that there are laws in the society on sexual harassment, rape and other forms of victimisation, but the Senate promised us that our views will be taken into account if there is a law, and we wondered why the duplication of efforts,” he said.
He said the bill should promote justice in all levels of learning for both female and male students, saying male students could also be rape one way or the other.
The ASUU president added that the Senate should not create a situation whereby male lecturers would refuse teaching or supervising female students since the bill passed had it that male lecturers shouldn’t smile or wink at a female student. He said ASUU was not in support of sexual harassment and had established disciplinary committees in all the university campuses.
“What we are saying is that the law should be for general application. Is it only in the universities that we have cases of sexual harassment?
Why should the Senate decide to criminalise only male lecturers?, he queried, adding that the law is bound to fail.”