By Dorcas Elusogbon
Ile-Ife (Osun), March 8, 2022
Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, has said that the university has zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
Ogunbodede stated this during the 2022 International Women’s Day celebration, organised by the Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies (CGSPS), in Ile-Ife on Tuesday.
He insisted that under no condition would the institution condone sexual harassment or any other untoward act against women, warning that anyone caught would be made to face the wrath of the law.
The Vice-Chancellor decried men’s domination of some sectors of the economy, stressing that for Nigeria to get it right, women must be given opportunity to hold leadership positions.
Also speaking, the Guest Speaker, Prof. Morenikeji Ukpong, condemned some men’s dispositions toward women, especially in situations where they (women) were denied certain opportunities despite having the same qualifications as their male counterparts.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ukpong, a Professor of Paediatric Dentistry in the institution, spoke on the topic: “Gender Equality and Sustainable Development in Nigeria: Breaking the Bias.”
She expressed the regret that some women parading themselves as gender advocates were still using their positions to working against the interest of women.
Ukpong warned against what she called spontaneous verbalisation capable of promoting gender bias and stereotypes, urging women to use all within their capacities to work for gender equality.
The guest speaker, who described rape as a silent epidemic ravaging the country, urged media organisations to continue to sensitise the masses against female molestations.
She also enjoined religious institutions, stakeholders and other kind-hearted Nigerians to join in the campaign for gender equality.
Earlier, the acting Director of CGSPS, Dr Olufunmilayo Banjo, commended individuals and corporate organisations, who had shared in the centre’s dreams and participated in its activities.
Prof. Olubola Babalola, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, who doubles as Chairperson, Governing Board of CGSPS, noted that women had contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country.
Highlights of the events were presentation of awards to some personalities, including: the Chief Executive Officer of ICARE Foundation, Akure, Mrs. Olajumoke Abegunde; Special Adviser to Ondo State Governor on Inter-Governmental Relation, Dr Olubunmi Ademosu and Mr. Omowuni Okatunji-Ohwovoriole.
Others were: the Iyaloja of Lagos, Mrs. Folasade Tinubu-Ojo and Prof Morenikeji Ukpong.
Tinubu-Ojo, who spoke on behalf of other awardees, appealed to women to stand by themselves and stop working against their efforts at getting to the top.