Sexual harassment is one of the many issues students on the Plateau and in Nigeria as a whole face. It is an all too familiar part of the everyday experience in our tertiary institutions and is characterized as one of the most rampant forms of gender based violence with its majority on female students.
It is defined as unwanted sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature. This challenge is no doubt one of many difficulties young people face in our academic systems.
The academic consequences of sexual harassment may also be more diffused creating an environment that interferes with a students’ ability to learn or participate in the school setting.
To curtail this problem, a non-governmental organization, Gender Mobile Initiative launched its new digital platform called the Campus Pal App designed to report cases of sexual harassments in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions.
The apps main vision is to solve this social problem through technology. Through this app our universities will be able to have a safe space for learning and engagement. Reports of sexual harassment cases can be made and will be tracked till it is determined. It allows for reports to be made anonymously or with full disclosure of the victims involved.
The Campus Pal App has initiated the combination of online technology and the principle of intelligence.
It is most likely to say that a number of people (especially victims) who are aware of these harassment issues are usually afraid to report them due to fear of retaliation.
Therefore, the offering of a digital tool enables the collection of data and feedback confidentially and protects the feedback from retaliation.
According to the University of Jos Gender Policy, one of its objectives states the ensuring of both male and female students and staff to study, live and work in an environment free of molestation and sexual harassments.
The Campus Pal App would be of superb assistance to the already continuous implementation of this policy and foster the encouragement of non pathological behaviors, as well as addressing the high rates of under-reporting sexual harassments in the institution.
There is no day that goes by in the country without a new case of sexual assault. This online app might just be the perfect solution we need to eliminate 90% of this problem from our schools.
“New technologies provide interesting and simple solutions to many problems. It is exciting to use technology for a problem that has to do with people’s everyday lives.”