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Fighting Sextortion of Female Students in Higher Learning Institutions in Tanzania: A Human Rights Based Approach

Rosemary Jotham Mukama

Abstract

This study discusses sextortion against female students in higher learning institutions
(HLIs) in Tanzania through a human right’s eye, and discusses the proper mechanism for
eradicating this problem. The author employed interviews, questionnaire survey, group
discussions, and documentary review to obtain both primary and secondary data. The
study findings show that some male academicians engage in unethical, immoral, and
unprofessional behaviours toward female students. Furthermore, the findings show that
in some circumstances (though rarely), some male academicians become victims of sexual
harassment from female students who are determined to offer sex for academic favours.
There is no evidence that female academicians are also predators of sex for academic
favours even though some (in rare cases) engage in voluntary relationships with male
students. This study reveals that sextortion carries with it grave repercussions on victims,
HLIs, and the Tanzania community at large. Despite of the negative repercussions of
sextortion, a majority of HLIs in Tanzania do not have proper mechanisms to deal with
the problem. This study recommends, inter alia, for every HLI in Tanzania to: (i) formulate
and abide by good gender policy; (ii) provide periodic education on gender violence issues
to its employees and students; and (iii) establish proper mechanism for reporting,
disciplining, investigating and quasi adjudicating for gender violence issues.

Keywords

sextortion, HLIs, female students, gender violence, human rights

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