Don Solicits CSOs Partnership To End Sexual Harassment In Varsities

Don Solicits CSOs Partnership To End Sexual Harassment In Varsities

By Oswald Agwu

Civil Society Organisations have been challenged to extend their intervention programmes towards solving the problems of sexual harassment, gender-based violence and many other socio-behaviour problems plaguing the nation’s tertiary institutions of learning.

A university Don, Professor Eugene Nweke raised the concern when a delegation of NGOs and CSOs under the Open Government Partnership initiative paid him a courtesy call recently in his office.

Nweke decried the endemic level of sexual harassment, gender-based violence and other vices among lecturers and students in tertiary institutions of learning across the country and urged the CSOs to articulate areas of intervention that would positively engage both the student bodies and the university management, aimed at ameliorating the challenges.

He assures the delegation that his office was open and willing to partner with them towards bringing about the desired change, beginning from the state university.

Nweke emphasized: “We used to talk about the media as the fourth estate of the realm.

“Now, Civil Society Organisation has situated itself properly that you cannot do anything, today, in any part of the world without civil society.

“And I think we must plunge back into the university system, to make it stronger and serve the society better, because the university serves the society, and there are so many challengers we hear about today in the system.

“We may not require grants to do that, but to first of all, articulate the problems and areas of intervention and present to the management. 

“Such intervention could be in the area of capacity building, development of policies on sexual harassment, gender-based violence and other issues.

“My office is well positioned to receive such offers, as DVC, Academics, and will be willing to partner with you on that.

Nweke, the Executive Director of a nongovernmental organization, Initiative for Social Change in Africa (VOFCA), and Co-chairman, Open Government Partnership, representing the Non State Actors, was recently elevated to the post of Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Ebonyi State University.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, a former Head of Service and the former focal person, Open Government Partnership, Mrs Ugo Nnachi, congratulated Professor Nweke on his elevation, describing it as a product of hard work and dedication to duty.

Nnachi, also the Executive Director of a popular NGO, Daughters of Virtue and Empowerment Initiative (DOVENET), extolled the invaluable contributions of Nweke in driving the Open Government Partnership initiative in the State, soliciting his continued patronage leveraging on his new position.

Nnachi explained: “The open government Partnership is a programme that is anchored on three pillars: transparency, accountability and good governance.

“Ebonyi happens to be among the first States in Southeast to sign the Open Government Partnership.

“The open Government Partnership offers Civil Society Organisations a broad range of opportunities to reach out to other international agencies that grant support

“We are here, first, to rejoice with you, and, secondly, to request that you offer us that platform, the pedestal to continue to impact society, and we know that with your office, our work will be much easier.

In his remarks, the coordinator of the visit, and OGP Co-chairman, Citizen’s Engagement, Oliver Chima Ajah, highlighted the three thematic areas of OGP initiative to include fiscal transparency, Access to Information and Citizens Engagement.

Ajah, who is also the Executive Director of Development Integrity Intervention Goals Foundation (DIG), and Secretary of Ebonyi State Child Protection Network, pledged the continued commitment of CSOs in effecting desired changes in all strata and segments of society.

The delegation of over twenty CSO members had representatives from the Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Gracefield Development Initiative of Nigeria, Development Integrity Intervention Goals Foundation; VOFCA, SMLAS, DOVENET, among others.


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Eugene NwekeUgo Nnachi