Crawford University, of the Apostolic Church Organisation through the Centre for Leadership and Gender Studies recently played host to a general and academic discourse bothering on gender and related issues both in academic circles and the nation at large.
The forum held under Gender Discourse had Sex and Money for Grade: Implications on Human and Capital Development, as its theme.
As expected, the programme attracted several highly rated resource people from within and outside the academic community. Among these are the Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Isaac Rotimi Ajayi ably represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alaba Simpson, Deansof College, Directors, Heads of department, including the Acting Director of the organizing units, theCentre for Leadership and Gender Studies Dr. Comfort M. Amire.
There were other resource persons and discussants including lecturers and students from other institutions: Lagos State University, Obafemi Awolowo University, Covenant University, Bells University of Technology, Babcock University, Mountain Top University and Anchor University.
Setting the tone and direction of the discourse the Vice Chancellor remarked that gender matters are not limited to just only one but both sexes and such gender issues have become societal problem affecting human capital development. The Vice Chancellor who also noted that African gender scholarship has come to stay added that the discourse would make institutions grow deeper in gender related issues and would move such a discourse to both national and global level.
“By this discourse we would look into the areas of gender aspect of scholarship that has to do with perspectives of scholars, the process of employees’ performance among others.
Also in his address, Dr. Abiodun Ajayi-Majebi, a renowned medical expert and the Director of MedservicesHospital,Ipaja in Lagos who stood in for Dr. WoleKukoyi, Medicare Hospital, Otta, as the Chairman of the occasion expressed the confidence that at the end of the discourse, “We would have been able to equip and empower the students here and by extension the larger society for better performance in their academics and in the open society, we would be able to encourage them to live above social vices and we would be able to use it to challenge immorality and injustice in our country.”
He also believed that the discourse would be used to bring out uncomfortable issues and unburden cover up of sexual harassment both in the academic communities and the larger society.
The Chairman also expressed the belief that the discourse would not only help in enhancing future moral developments of the society but would help to become a tool of governmental agencies for policy making.
Dr. Ajayi-Majebi who defined Sex and Money For Grade as the use of feminine corporal assets to get whatever the perpetrator wants said it has led to student and teacher’s harassments, money exchange and seduction by both parties involved.He condemned how this evil has had a lot of side effects both on academic performances and human capital development in the society.
“Human Capital Development is very special and crucial in any development.its effects on nationhood and the impact on the society is huge in that products of our academic institutions must meet competitive needs in the larger society”, He remarked that the discourse would provoke thoughts on how to move our nation forward.
In her own erudite presentation, Prof B.O. Oladipupo of the Lagos State University who spoke on Sexual Harassments in Institutions and Workplace noted that the menace of sexual harassment has held many people down in their future goals and attainment in life. Sexual harassment according to her was not peculiar to Nigerian institutions but it has become a global thing.
Prof. Oladipupo described sexual harassment as when an older or advantaged person takes advantage of the less privileged ones, and pointed out that it has become an in-thing in most of our higher institutions. She tagged it an academic fraud. The scholar who attributed causes of sexual harassment in higher institutions to weak academic performance, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual pleasure and anger, provocative mode of appearance and misconception of human behaviour, and restriction posited that sexual harassment in effect would lead to low self-esteem, suicide, drop out from schools, unwanted pregnancies inhibition of personal growth. She advocated that concerted efforts must be geared towards avoiding it.
There were other contributions from other invited scholars, Professor Lucia O. Ogunsumi, Professor Partrick Yalokwu, Professor J. S. O. Oludotun, Dr. Agbaje-Daniel, other lecturers and students on what were to be done to give both male and female candidates the requisite opportunities they need to make them excel in life.
While some supported that female gender could be given more opportunities which would make them perform better than their male counterparts, some others were of the opinion that female gender were not less advantaged as both boys and girls could work hard to move the nation forward.
At the end of the discourse the emerging consensus was that both parents and the larger society should give the children the needed orientation on gender balance, and to the students not to allow any privileged person to despise their golden youth age, and every member of the society should wake up to say “no” to what is wrong at all times, especially when the need arises.It was generally believed by the team of experts at the discourse that both our institutions of learning and the larger society must take advantage of such a topical discourse to set a standard both in the higher institutions and the society at large.