Transport workers in Kaduna State on Wednesday commenced the process of developing bylaws to curb sexual harassment and other forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in motor parks.
The transport workers were National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Tricycle Riders and Owners Cooperative Society of Nigeria, Tricycle and Wheel Riders Operators Multipurpose Cooperative and Tricycle Multipurpose Cooperative Society.
The development of the bylaws for the different groups is being supported by Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), an NGO, under its “We for Them” project, designed to curb sexual harassment in public places.
The NURTW State Secretary, Special Duties, Mr Hassan Ibrahim, said in Kaduna during the awareness seminar on SGBV, organised by EWEI, that the union had made provisions for addressing issues of SGBV in its constitution.
Ibrahim, however, noted that the provisions were not comprehensive enough to address all issues of sexual harassment and violence.
He explained that developing the bylaw was very crucial to address other issues of SGBV that the union ‘s constitution did not cover.
Also, the Chairman of Tricycle Riders and Owners Cooperative Society of Nigeria, Mrs. Yohana Gaiya, said that the bylaw would strengthen the society’s response to SGBV incidence being committed in their packs.
“This will enable us to align our operations with existing laws relating to SGBV in the state,” she said.
Similarly, Malam Isah Abdullahi, Secretary, Tricycle and Wheel Rids Operators Multipurpose Cooperative, said that developing the bylaws would help keep their members in check.
According to him, the move will ensure a comprehensive protection of commuters against harassment and clearly define and document sanctions for any member that indulges in sexual harassment of passengers, including his spouse.
Similarly, the State Coordinator, Kaduna Civil Society SGBV Coalition, Bukola Ajao, commended the road transport workers for being decisive in curbing SGBV in their packs through documents, code of conducts and sanctions.
Ajao, a legal practitioner said that she would work with EWEI to provide the needed technical support to the transport workers to complete the development of the bylaws.
Earlier, EWEI’s Programme Officer, Gender, Mr. Mendie Jeremiah, said that the “We for Them” project was being supported by the African Women’s Development Fund.
Jeremiah said that the transport workers were already trained on existing laws concerning sexual and gender-based violence in the state.
“Today’s session was organised for the transport workers to make recommendations for the bylaw that would address sexual harassment and gender-based violence within motors in Kaduna State.
“One of the things the bylaws will address is behaviours of members within and outside the parks, as well as community members and traders that patronise them.
“The recommendations will be in line with the existing NURTW and the tricycle riders group constitutions, Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law and other relevant laws and policies in Kaduna State”, he said.