HEIR Women Hub on Friday received a letter of Provincial Registration as a member of the National Anti-corruption Coalition (NACC) from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). This is as the organisation celebrated her 6th anniversary.
This was contained in a press release by Communications Officer, HEIR Women Hub, Blessing Sani on Monday in Abuja.
The statement partly read: “ICPC had earlier declared sexual harassment as a form of corruption. This made HEIR Women Hub reach out to the ICPC on the 6th of June during her project that was supported by Ford Foundation on Career Barriers and Workplace Sexual harassment against Young Women in Nigeria.
“The HEIR Women Hub team met with Mrs. Bunmi Olugasa, the personal assistant to the Director-General of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and also the Project Officer for the Sexual Harassment in Educational Institutions in Secondary and Tertiary institutions who stood in for the DG ICPC.
“The Executive Director of HEIR Women Development, Añuli Aniebo Ola-Olaniyi appreciated ICPC for sending a representative to our workshop on career barriers held in April 2022, also stating that their presence was part of the reason for the advocacy visit to ICPC. Mentioning clearly that the ICPC considers Sexual Harassment as a form of corruption that is punishable just as other corrupt practices, she went further to mention our aim for visiting which is; How to educate and prosecute persons in this category, both victims and offenders.”
While giving a rundown on the research on Career Barriers and Workplace Sexual Harassment against Young Women in Nigeria (A case study of the FCT) supported by Ford Foundation, the Project Officer of the organisation, Blessing Ejeh, stated that in the nearest future, HWH hopes to go around the 36 states of Nigeria to conduct the same research to gather findings as each statehas what applies to them.
In her response, Mrs. Olugasa appreciated HEIR Women Hub for reaching out, spoke on the existing gap in sexual harassment-related cases and agreed that ICPC has considered Sexual Harassment as a form of corruption.
“Tackling the menace of sexual harassment can be equated to a relay race where one needs four strong men to achieve success, meaning many more hands need to be on deck to manage the issue of Sexual Harassment at workplaces,” she said.
Speaking on the gaps in sexual harassment, she said “the clamour should be on improving the law, although people keep finding different ways of beating the law.”
“The team also had a chat with Mr. Garba Akibu who also spelled out some CSO they had collaborated with and are currently working with ICPC on issues around sexual harassment. He also offered HWH a welcoming arm of future and productive collaborations,” the statement added.
HEIR Women is a non-governmental organisation pushing against career barriers and advocating that more young women take more leadership positions in Nigeria.