• Women
  • February 16, 2010
  • 2 minutes read

Egypt: Efforts to combat sexual harassment look promising

Egypt: Efforts to combat sexual harassment look promising

 The move is being welcomed by Egyptian women’s activists, who have long called on the government to take a more proactive stance on the rising problem of sexual harassment in the country.

“It is a good first step and after years of trying to draft laws on criminalizing sexual harassment, we hope this will finally be done,” said the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR).

The proposal includes the addition of three articles to the Penal Code, article 269, which provides changes to the words “physical assault and corruption of morals ” with the wording of “indecent physical assault and sexual harassment and corruption of morals.”

The proposal also includes adding Article 269-bis, which states that the term of imprisonment “not exceeding one year and a fine of not less than one thousand pounds or either one of these two punishments” for anyone who committed harassment against the opposite sex, “whether it occurred by acts such as touching or chasing or verbal assault, or by wireless devices, or even electronic means, even if the terms used includes words or gestures, or hints of sexual content,” Kellini’s office said in a statement.

The draft law for the punishment of child molestation by imprisonment for not less than two years and a fine of not less than 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($900) is also being addressed. Kellini is hopeful to increase the penalty of imprisonment for a term “not exceeding three years if the harassment took place by more than one person, or if the victim is mentally or physically or psychologically handicapped.”