“The CARTA Sexual Harassment In Nigerian Educational Institutions (CARTA SHINE) PROJECT”

The BackGround

Sexual Harassment (SH)

In Nigeria, SH came into the limelight through the Cookey’s commission panel established to address allegations of female students failing examinations for reasons not based on their academic abilities.



Prevalence among female respondents in Nigerian tertiary institutions.


The Background

SH is not easy to define, partly because it does not involve a homogenous set of behaviours. In academic settings, SH includes requests for sexual favours and verbal or physical sexual activities, which are used as the basis for employing or awarding academic marks to an individual depending on acceptance or rejection of those advances and creating hostile learning environments when advances are rejected.

SH in colleges and universities is grossly underreported. Survivors rarely report the SH experience. This is often because of unequal power relations, fear of loss of status, marks or jobs as retaliation and the attendant stigma that brings.

The global prevalence of SH in tertiary institutions is high. The prevalence is higher in Nigeria, ranging from 68% to 80% among female respondents and 69 – 99% when a broader spectrum of SH was assessed. There are gender variations in the experience and perception of SH in literature.

Some authors have alluded to the fact that indecent dressing is a factor in SH, and part of the recommendation for females is propriety in dressing as a means to prevent SH


We Aim To Explore

  • The perceptions that drive heterosexual and same-sex SH among students and staff (including an objective assessment of the role of dressing),
  • The social and mental health consequences among survivors,
  • The institutional mechanisms present to prevent and respond to SH,
  • Determinants of the decision to report,
  • The resultant actions taken, and
  • The lived experience for survivors.

The culture of silence around SH in Nigerian higher institutions is widespread.

Several studies have investigated the prevalence of SH and associated factors in Nigeria. Many of these studies have focused almost exclusively on heterosexual SH despite reports of same-sex SH. The present study will interrogate the culture of SH in Nigerian universities.

This study will investigate the experience of SH by men and women in heterosexual and same-sex relationships in universities in Nigeria.

Aims & Objectives

The proposed study aims to determine the prevalence and factors associated with SH in Nigerian tertiary institutions and to explore the lived experiences of individuals who have experienced SH. The specific objectives are as follows:

To determine the prevalence rates of heterosexual and same-sex SH among students and staff of first-generation universities in south-west Nigeria and associated factors

To determine whether the perception of dressing as being provocative is associated with the perceived likelihood of sexual harassment

To explore the attitudes and perceptions of university staff and students about SH

To explore responses of SH survivors to the experience of SH

To explore the social and mental health sequelae of SH

To explore the responses of Nigerian tertiary institutions to SH

Significance Of The Study

“The findings from the present study will improve the understanding of factors that drive SH among staff and students in tertiary education institutions in Nigeria and the risk vulnerable populations face.

This information will help design and implement policies and programs that can reduce the risk of vulnerable populations to SH, in view of the long-term and/or lifetime mental and social effects of SH on survivors and improve reportage among survivors.”


Team Members

The Project is funded by CARTA.

Dr Boladale Mapayi

Principal Investigator

Dr Ibidun Oloniniyi
Dr Kunle Oginni
Dr Funmito Fehintola
Prof Morenike Ukpong

Institutional Mentor

Prof Abigail Harrison

External Mentor