The University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) has accused university authorities in the country of allowing the culture of sexual harassment to fester on campuses.
This they say is due to the abject neglect of the implementation of policies on harassment in institutions; a situation that has emboldened lecturers to take advantage of students.
The comments come at a time, the issue of sexual harassment has grabbed international attention in the aftermath of BBC Africa Eye’s sex for grades expose.
Speaking to Citi News, President of USAG, Paul Abrokwa called for greater effort to completely deal with sexual harassment.
“The policies of the universities have not been followed. These things are there; anti-sexual harassment and all those things but no one minds them. How often do we orient the students on this? How do we encourage them to report? The students feel that I can have my way and the lecturers also feel I can have my way. This is something that has been going on for sometime now.”
“We condemn that act, we are not in support of it at all. We are only asking the University of Ghana and other universities to make sure such acts or activities do not continue in the institution because as USAG we have now opened women’s commissioners’ offices for the general public. If any individual student report such an act, we will take an action that the University might not be happy with. We will be with them as a Union that is supposed to care for Ghanaian students.”
The BBC Africa Eye released a documentary on Monday which centered on cases of sexual harassment by lecturers in tertiary institutions.
To achieve this, the BBC sent undercover journalists posing as students inside the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana, Legon.
The bulk of the excerpt released spent time in the University of Lagos and one of its lecturers Professor Boniface Igbeneghu’s alleged attempts to proposition a student seeking admission into the school.
Meanwhile, the lecturers indicted at University of Ghana have denied the allegations made against them, with Prof Gyampo threatening to sue the BBC for defamation.
President of the UG SRC, Isaac Agyemang has also advised students who may have fallen victims to such demands from lecturers to co-operate with any interrogation that may come if the need arises.
“As it stands now, these are allegations that have come up. Until they are proven guilty our remarks will be speculative. But all these people captured in the video will duly be investigated within the remits of the University of Ghana [rules]. Our fingers are crossed as an SRC so any student who has been a victim shouldn’t shy away from the SRC.”
They also called for appropriate sanctions for the two lecturers if found culpable.