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Group moves against sexual harassment in markets

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The NECA’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) has called for an end to sexual harassment in Lagos markets.

The organisation made the call during a one-day programme, themed, “stop sexual harassment; make our markets safe for women”.

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Vice president of NNEW, Mrs. Olakitan Wellington said men, who perpetrate sexual harassment don’t see it as an offence, but as means of attracting customers, while others do it intentionally, to harass them by touching their sensitive parts.

She stressed the need to sensitise them on how they can prevent this in the market.

She said: “It is mainly about parents and victims to do proper reporting, so we want them to know that there is no victim shaming, you are not guilty. Most of the time our society makes the victims feel guilty, but it is not the victims that are guilty, it is the perpetrators, so we want to give them the confidence and to enlighten them.”

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She added that the government has already domesticated the  Violence Against Person Prohibition Act to give legal backing against the vice.

On her part, Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Ikeja, Lagos, Chief Folasade Tinubu Ojo, stressed the need for market women to be vigilant.

She said: “Vigilance is very important. If you see a new face within the market, even in your house, ask questions. It is very paramount you ask questions and make sure you are very vigilant.

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“We need to educate our women because our society must be free from violence. It is very important to us, we need to take it seriously because our system is deteriorating in terms of value, culture, and tradition.”

Ojo further advised women to be their children’s best friends, adding that they should speak up when they are being harassed sexually.

For the Director of domestic violence, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty alleviation, Olorunfemi Oluwatoyin, women should be proactive and friendly to their children.

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Oluwatoyin, who lauded Lagos State Government’s efforts in the fight against sexual and domestic violence, advised women against treating with levity whatever their children are saying, stressing that women should show good examples for their wards.

On his part, Lagos State Commissioner of police, Hakeem Odumosu, represented by an officer in charge of gender in Lagos Command, Grace Ifidon, advised youths and parents to desist from sexual harassment and domestic violence.

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