Egypt - new penalties for sexual harassment

2014-06-05 22:25
An Egyptian voter ululates after she casts her vote outside a polling station during the first day of presidential elections in Cairo, Egypt. (Amr Nabil, AP)

An Egyptian voter ululates after she casts her vote outside a polling station during the first day of presidential elections in Cairo, Egypt. (Amr Nabil, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Egypt approved new punishments on Thursday for sexual harassment, amid rising pressure on authorities to fight the rampant phenomenon.

Until now, Egypt has not had a law defining sexual harassment, despite more than 99% of women being subjected to some form of abuse, a 2013 study by the United Nations said.

But outgoing interim president Adly Mansour approved a range of amendments on Thursday that would punish offences against women.

These would include jail terms, fines, or both.

Any sexual or pornographic suggestions or hints through words, signs or acts are now punishable by imprisonment for at least six months.

Such acts could also carry fines of between €307 and €513.

If sexual harassment is "committed with the aim of obtaining sexual advantages from the victim," offenders can be jailed for at least one year and fined €1 000 - €2 050.

Imprisonment for from two to five years and fine of €2 050 - €5 100 pounds would apply if offenders use professional, family or academic power or circumstantial pressures on the victim.

An activists brushed off the penalties.

They "are of no value" because they give the judge the right to choose between a fine or jail, said Fathi Farid, a founder of the "I Saw Harassment" campaign that documents sexual harassment of women.

He also said they were "not enough for cases involving sexual assaults by mobs."

Since the 2011 uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has witnessed a jump in sexual assault, with women even attacked by mobs of young men in the middle of demonstrations.

In March, a sexual harassment case at a leading university sparked outrage after the dean suggested it was sparked by what the woman was wearing.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa  |  gender equality publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Win over Boks was 'massive' for Japanese rugby
Girls be hating the fat boys
VIDEO: Six of the best dummy passes from the RWC
Boks can brace for Wales - bookies
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.