The First Secretary of the United States of America Embassy in Nigeria, Madison Conoley, has said the male gender should also be considered as victims of sexual harassment while finding a solution to the scourge.
He stated this on Tuesday at Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, during an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the 16th annual conference and celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright programme.
The envoy said, “We very much support the association’s (Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria) efforts to address the issues in a transparent way.
“We know from empirical studies that men are not only aggressors, they are also victims of sexual harassment. If we want to solve this problem, we need the full conversation from all segments of society and all genders.”
The Vice Chancellor of Bowen University, Prof. Joshua Ogunwole, said many rape cases were unconnected with substance abuse.
He said sexual harassment and substance abuse needed to be tackled squarely, adding that this would help the larger society.
The Deputy Commissioner (Legal), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Mr Adenekan Shogunle, identified concentration of power, especially in the hands of few individuals, as one of the factors responsible for cases of sexual harassment.
Shogunle said sexual harassment was not peculiar to educational institutions alone, adding that there were reports of such cases in the civil service, law enforcement agencies and judicial work force.
The immediately past Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, said if the issue of mal-governance was not addressed, there was little that could be achieved in curbing sexual harassment.