Days after the release of a documentary by the BBC, Journalist, Kiki Mordi, has continued to speak about the impact of the project.
The documentary themed #SexForGrades, which was filmed secretly by a team of undercover journalists, disguised as students, sought to expose the age-long tradition of sexual harassment in universities.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, Mordi who says she has been a victim of sexual harassment, noted that the society is not doing enough to protect the girl child.
According to her, the menace goes beyond tertiary institutions to secondary and even primary schools, further widening the education gap between men and women.
“I dropped out of school, I was robbed of my education,” she said while stressing that the conversation needs to be taken more seriously especially as the world marks the International Day of the Girl Child.
“The girl child is not protected. She is not protected at home, she’s not protected in school. It’s a very important message and it’s very important for all of us to remember that we are not doing enough to protect the girl child. It seems like we’ve all agreed to it. It’s like a silent agreement and we need to stand up.. we can’t be silent in the face of oppression”.
Speaking about why she chose not to hide her identity in the documentary, Mordi explained that she’s aware of the risks involved in such a project.
However, because she of her personal experience, she chose to be a voice to the many voiceless victims of sexual abuse.
“I had to put my human face to it. Apart from being a journalist, I also came from a place of experience.. I know what it feels like to be in that space and I don’t have a problem with putting my face out there. I just felt I should marry my humanity and journalism and it worked out well,” she said.
She, however stressed that “parents have a huge role to play in making sure that they protect their children”.
Beyond that, Mordi believes that university authorities also owe it to their students, to protect them.
According to her, despite hearing comments that some lecturers also get abused, she believes that the lecturers still have an upper hand and don’t necessarily have anything to lose if they chose to reject sexual advances.
As part of efforts to help curb the menace, she believes dissolution of lecturers’ powers is a good place to start.
“Sexual harassment is a huge problem that goes beyond the four walls of schools but if at the very least, we can make our schools safe, I think that means that we are listening and we are doing something about the problem,” she said.
Following the release of the documentary which sparked various reactions, the university has since suspended two lecturers, Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu and Dr. Samuel Oladipo.
Both lecturers were captured in the video, making advances to the reporter who had disguised as a 17-year-old seeking admission.
Their actions, according to the university, contravene the policy of the institution which requires lecturers to provide parental care for students.
Meanwhile, the ‘Cold Room’, where lecturers allegedly sexually assault students has also been shut down.
The development was announced on Monday in a statement by the Principal Assistant Registrar (Communication Unit) of the university, Taiwo Oloyede.
Dr Igbeneghu had mentioned the ‘Cold Room’ in the documentary, describing it as a place where lecturers meet to “touch students’ breast” at the staff club of the university.
According to him, “nothing good comes free” and the ‘cold room’ experience is the price some female students have to pay to have good grades.