By: Mohammed Lawal Maikudi: Members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic, (ASUP), Kaduna Polytechnic chapter has began submission of inputs to the Institution’s Policy on Prohibition of Sexual Harassment 2019 to address some loopholes in the document.
Stakeholders agreed that this would help curb the menace of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the Institution.
The Union made the observation at its second seminar on the “WeForThem” (WFT) project organized by Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative, (EWEI), for 50 members to help decrease sexual harassment in the school on Saturday, February 11, 2023 in Kaduna.
Earlier, the Primary Focal Person for WFT project, Ms Salome Yakubu, explained that the seminar would look at the existing policy of the Institution, review it and see if it could be updated or good to go.
She said the seminar would also avail participants the opportunity to identify advocacy tools to use in curbing sexual harassment and gender-based violence, hence together with ASUP members EWEI will deliberate on the best tools to be employed for the purpose.
In her presentation, the Resource Person, Ms Jelilat Abidoye, took participants on some advocacy tools they could explore to tackle sexual harassment in the Institution which includes: Mobilization/coalition, rallies, petitions, social media campaigns, lobbying, movies/storytelling, and traditional media
She said some of the benefits of advocacy is that it enables people to be heard; supports the protection of human rights; influences laws and policies; enables people to better understand each other;
Others include; promotion of problem solving and participation; highlights available resources and services; educates the greater community; fosters respect for a cause; makes people feel stronger; and as well helps Non-Governmental Organizations, (NGOs) to thrive.
Highlights of the event include the setting up of a committee to spearhead engagement with the Policy and Transparency Division, (PTD), and Management of Kaduna Polytechnic.
The committee has a mandate to disseminate information, sensitizing people on the existence of the Policy on Prohibition of Sexual Harassment 2019 on all the campuses, channels of reporting, tools to be employed include the social media, Spider FM (official radio station of KadPoly), among others.
At the end the committee together with EWEI’s team would make recommendations and ensure management of the institution lives up to its expectation as regards implementation.
The WFT project which is supported by the African Women Development Fund, (AWDF), is centred on addressing the issues of sexual harassment and abuses in public spaces. EWEI is working with two unions to achieve this aim – National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW), and ASUP both of Kaduna chapters.