Have you heard about the “Sex For Marks Bill”? Well, most young women in Nigerian Universities have been at the receiving end of one form of sexual harassment or the other. In October 2019, following the release of the #SexForGrades Documentary, we all heard the horrific stories shared by various victims of sexual harassment in Nigeria’s institution of higher learning. These stories should have been enough to trigger a radical change at our institutions, but this change is still elusive despite the attempt by the Nigerian Senate which led to the re-introduction of the proposed “Sex for Marks” Bill.
So what is the “Sex For Marks Bill”?
The Sex For Marks Bill proposes to criminalize any form of sexual advances by lecturers towards students, with a punishment of up to 14 years in jail, or 5 years at the minimum – without the option of a fine. Sexual offences as defined by this bill includes; grabbing, hugging, kissing, stroking, rubbing, touching and pinching of any sexual part of a student’s body. BUT The Nigerian Academic Staff union ASUU is VEHEMENTLY opposed to this bill on the basis that it is “discriminatory” and it “violates the autonomy of Universities”. Can female students assume this autonomy over their own bodies? Is this too much to ask? ASUU went on to claim than corruption was a bigger issue on campus and implored that the National Assembly drops the bill. This is not the first time a billed like this has been killed! So I collaborated with Gatefield TV to create Awareness on WeAwoke. Please watch below and share.