In this part of the world, sexual harassment for both male and female exists, but rarely comes to the fore. People don’t like to talk about their experiences for fear of stigmatization and as a result a lot of people suffer in silence.
Dealing with this topic on Sexual Harassment in Nigeria and ways it can be curbed policy wise, Politician, Princess Folashade Olabanji-Oba who is the Vice Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government, joined the ladies of Your View to discuss.
Recently, during the funeral service of American singer Aretha Franklin, the bishop who ministered at the event, appeared to *grop* Arianna Grande, a popular American pop singer. Now, instead of focusing on the issue, people are blaming it majorly on what she wore. The question is, does the average Nigerian woman feel adequately protected?
Speaking on the show, Folashade Olabanji-Oba said;
“I want to say everyone is accountable. The policies are there but creating that non-toxic ENVIRONMENT”
Speaking further, she pointed out to the fact that the cultural baggage in our society is a major issue why issues like this are handled with kids gloves.
“You can’t compare the way abuse in being treated in Nigeria to the way it’s being treated in the US or UK. We still have that cultural baggage. A lot of things that go on here is a big no no. I think the more sensitisation…. the more safer our communities will be.”
Folashade stated that policies are put in place but people don’t want to thread that path because of maybe the stress of going through the Judicial system, standing as a witness and being able to carry on in a society where you’re seen as a victim.
“The policies are there. The state has the right to prosecute, but going through the judicial system, and having people actually support, wanting to go to court and be a witness is another thing. Definitely those policies are there but people don’t want to go through it.”
A caller on the show, Joana said there’s no reason why men sexual harass women or rape them. According to the caller, men don’t have reason to sexual harass women – pointing to the fact that where he comes from – the northen part of Nigeria, sexual harassment and rape still take place even when the women cover themselves with veils. His point actually is, the men are corrupt minded and that should be tackled, not the women who decide to dress the way they want.
However, Folashade still stands on her point that everyone is accountable and a non-toxic environment should be created. She concluded by advising ladies to dress decent as some men may not be able to control themselves seeing a lady in seductive attire.
“I still will go with ‘decent dressing’ don’t just go about in bikini and a top and just believe that every man can handle that discipline.”