The Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center, WARDC has disclosed that it records an estimated 1,500 interventions in sexual and gender-based violence cases annually.
The Executive Director, WARDC, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, disclosed this on Wednesday in Bauchi during a one-day training for women groups, students and lecturers of tertiary institutions on reportage of violence against women and girls.
The Women Advocates and Documentation Center is supported by the African Women Development Fund based in Ghana which supports issues relating to women and girls across Africa, including internally displaced persons.
She said that the essence of the training for the participants is to support a system in the higher institutions that can prevent sexual harassment and gender-based violence as well as strengthen the university system to know what to do in addressing the menace.
According to her, establishing a sexual harassment response team in tertiary institutions across the state was very crucial so that students who are victims can access justice.
“There is an assumption that sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence in the tertiary institutions do not exist, but we have seen from recent happening in the country, that they do occur within the university system. We have observed that most university systems and tertiary institutions do not have a strong structure in responding to these issues.
“So what we want to do is to support a system that can serve temporarily, especially for tertiary institutions that do not have sexual harassment and gender-based violence policy. The whole idea is to empower a group that can lobby and create awareness as well as advocate for such policy development within the institution, so that young girls in the schools can be free from randy lecturers’ sexual harassment,” she said.
Mrs Abiola said that in the twenty years existence of the organization, WARDC has provided legal aide for women who suffered domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of violation of their fundamental human rights, adding that it also works on political participation for women, maternal health and supported passage of Violence against Persons Prohibition law VAPP in several states of the federation.