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#SexForGrades: Calls for action after BBC Africa Eye film

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#SexForGrades: Calls for action after BBC Africa Eye film

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Media captionThe BBC film, fronted by journalist Kiki Mordi, has encouraged people to speak out

West African politicians and film stars are among thousands calling for action following a BBC report into sexual harassment at top universities.

A year-long investigation by BBC Africa Eye, released on Monday, explored the harassment at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and the University of Ghana.

The film showed lecturers propositioning undercover journalists.

Three of the men featured, two in Ghana and one in Nigeria, have now been suspended pending investigations.

Social media users and high-profile figures are demanding action and sharing their own experiences.

  • Watch: Full BBC investigation into ‘sex for grades’
  • More videos from Africa Eye
  • Lecturer suspended over ‘sex-for-grades’ film

The documentary highlighted a well-known phenomenon that some academics use their position to force students into having sex.

Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari, said on Monday that the current situation “simply has to change”.

“It is no longer enough to sweep allegations under the carpet or force victims to withdraw their allegations, victimise or stigmatise them,” she said at a premiere.

The first lady of Ekiti state, Bisi Fayemi, added her voice – while revealing she was also a victim of campus sexual harassment.

“It is time for us to speak up and speak out and for those who do we need to stand with them and not silence them. Because the culture of silence has endured long enough,” she said at Monday’s Lagos screening.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we-F0Gi0Lqs[/embedyt]

The title of the film, Sex for Grades, trended on Twitter in both Nigeria and Ghana on Monday – with hundreds of thousands of mentions and shares.

Many users condemned the actions seen on the film and called for a swift response, while others shared their own alleged experiences.

Nigerian actress Dakore Egbuson-Akande told her 1.1 million Instagram followers “I have also suffered this”. She added that she hopes the film and subsequent discussion marks the start of a #TimesUp-style movement against sexual violence and harassment in the region.

“Women in Nigeria have been suffering all sorts of sexual assault and violence for far too long. Let’s keep the conversation going,” she posted. “You can only attack what you confront.”

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Image Copyright dakoreea dakoreea Report
Instagram post by dakoreea: The cup of filth has runneth over! Enough is truly enough. I believe our own #timesup movement has finally come to Nigeria and all of Africa. I have also suffered this. I've been triggered. Women in Nigeria have been suffering all sorts of sexual assault and violence for far too long. Let's keep the conversation going. You can only attack what you confront. We need our men to also understand this pain they inflict. We need our women in positions of power to do the same. Thank you @bbcafrica @wfm917 and the brave @kikimordi for this bold and brilliant expose on this evil that has grown into a hydra-headed monster. But one by one they will be cut off and disgraced. #endSGBV #Nomore #Notosexualassault #sexforgrades❌ #Respectthefeminine #SpeakUP #Nomoresilence #enoughistrulyenough😭oh #animalsinhumanskin Image Copyright dakoreea dakoreea Report

The University of Lagos has suspended a lecturer who was caught on film propositioning one undercover reporter, who posed as a 17-year-old. The University of Ghana has also suspended two of its academics saying it will carry out an investigation.

The report carried details from current and former students, some with their identities hidden, making allegations against university staff.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, said the revelations called for a “moment of reckoning” for the country.

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These revelations call for a moment of reckoning, not only for those lecturers whose abuse of their position and the trust of their students has been caught on tape, but those who are still hiding in the shadows. #SexForGrades @BBCAfrica

— Femi Gbajabiamila (@femigbaja) October 8, 2019

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Our higher institutions where this culture of abuse have been allowed to thrive must also acknowledge their responsibility and act to put an end to these shameful practices. We owe our children that much.#SexForGrades @BBCAfrica

— Femi Gbajabiamila (@femigbaja) October 8, 2019

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End of Twitter post 2 by @femigbaja

The BBC has already been contacted by more than 120 people sharing personal stories of alleged abuse and harassment in education since the documentary aired.

Do you have a story of sexual harassment by a lecturer at university? How have you been affected by our investigation into sex for grades?

If you would like to share your experience with BBC Africa Eye, please submit your message below

Because of the volume of messages we receive we cannot respond to everyone, but we appreciate every response.

Share your experiences using this form:

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