Thursday, June 05, 2014

Egypt Bans Sexual Harassment

Outgoing Egyptian President Adly Mansour has issued a decree against sexual harassment:
In a decree issued by outgoing interim president Adly Mansour, sexual harassment is now a crime punishable by up to five years in jail.
Until now, Egypt has not had a law defining sexual harassment...
Incidents have soared in the three years since the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. 
Under the new laws, harassers face from six months to five years in prison. The longer sentences are reserved for offenders who hold a position of power over their victims such as being a woman's superior at work or being armed with a weapon.
This is a fine thought, but I'm dubious it will do much good.  You also need judges willing to impose harsh sentences, and a culture in which women can file their complaints without fear of repercussions.  I'm even trying to picture what would happen with harassment by street youths in locally trafficked side streets.  A woman reports the crime, a shopkeeper or two witness, and then even if the guy serves his six months, he and his friends trash the shop or otherwise get revenge when they are out.

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