The Lagos Studies Association (LSA) is hosting an online roundtable conversation on the theme: “Sexism, Sexual Harassment and Academia. A notice signed by Professor Saheed Aderinto and seen by The Daily Report says the discussion is scheduled for 12 and 19 September and is organised by the Women’s Mentoring Network of the association.
“Sexual violence and predatory sexual behaviour on campuses across Nigeria have recently been in the news,” the notice reads in part, adding that panellists will “explore a range of issues affecting women in Nigerian Higher Education.”
Also on the panelsts’ radar will be “the Sexual Harassment Bill passed by the Nigerian legislature, diversifying higher education in Nigeria, the future of gender and feminist studies, and critical scholarship on sexism and gender in higher education in Nigeria and globally.”
The organisers make it clear that sexism and sexual violence are not exclusive to Nigeria but “the sexual and gender-based threats faced by women are endemic to academia internationally and are well documented.
“Moreover, sexism is a form of sexual violence experienced not only in academia but also in other fields. Women in each and every field, institution, organization and community can and should organize as individuals and in communal frameworks to create spaces to speak out, be heard, and acknowledged as a first step to addressing this problem.”
As an academic organization, the LSA says its focus is on universities, increasing female representation at all levels and confronting impediments to women’s career advancement.
“LSA has become known as an organization and as a conference series that works actively towards gender equity in the academy. This happens through the kind of scholarship fostered, by providing resources that enable scholars with infants to attend and share their work, and creating a welcoming atmosphere for early career women scholars.
“This roundtable aims to create a space to amplify discussions about marginalisation and silencing experienced by women in academia. This session will be the first online event hosted by the LSA Women’s Mentoring Network, and we plan to convene more in the future.”
The Women mentoring Network was founded in 2019 to drive LSA’s commitment to addressing the problem of gender imbalances in the global academy.
“At the inaugural meeting of the Women’s Mentoring Network at the annual Lagos Studies conference in 2019, we heard from panelists across generations about experiences of institutional marginalization that women scholars faced, particularly those who became mothers.
After each of the mentors spoke, there was time for questions and every hand in the room of more than a hundred women went up. There were also many supportive men in the room, attending out of a commitment to being allies to their female colleagues.
“Among participants there was a clear hunger for sharing stories and recording in a public space the range of their experiences. Many of the younger scholars reported a sense of catharsis from having attended the meeting.”
Interested participants can join the online meeting (Two sessions) with the details as follows:
Meeting ID: 886 7600 1348
Meeting ID: 812 6152 7794