NBA- AGC 2021: TAKING A STAND: Akpata Launches NBA Sexual Harassment Policy

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A major highlight of the AGC breakout session on workplace and professional harassment was the launch and formal presentation of the NBA’s ‘Sexual Harassment Policy’ by the Association’s President, Olumide Akpata. Championed by the Women’s Forum of the Association, the document aims to ‘create a safe work space for all.’

In his remarks at the event, Akpata said that although the NBA as a whole was still contending with certain capacity issues, the same cannot be said of the Forum, thanks the able leadership of its President, Prof. Oluwayemisi Bamgbose, SAN, the Chairperson of the NBA’s Advocacy Committee, Mrs. Folashade Alli as well as Dr. Foluke Dada, a former vice-president of the Lagos Bar.

Although not every male person is a sexual predator, a sexist or an apologist for male patriarchy, Akpata went to say, the actions of a few unprincipled people – if left unchallenged – can destroy the work of many people of goodwill. The policy document, he declared, is one of such challenges, a clear rejection of physical, verbal and non-verbal harassment and victimization in any shape or form.

To help enforce the policy on behalf of the NBA leadership, Akpata proceeded to task two ‘male champions’ to work with the Women’s Forum on the issues – namely, Ekiti State Attorney-General and new SAN-designate Wale Fapohunda, and the afore-mentioned Mr. Ajagbe.
In answer to a question during the interactive session at the launch, Mrs. Alli of the NBA advocacy committee said the document details a comprehensive complaint procedure that encompasses both law firms and public institutions where lawyers ply their trade – as stipulated by International Labour Organisation (ILO).

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