Legal Breakthrough: Egypt Criminalizes Sexual Harassment

According to a report published in 2013 by the United Nations, more than 99 percent of women in Egypt have been subjected to some form of sexual harassment. Thanks to a landmark decision by interim President Adly Mansour, this percentage could become a thing of the past.

Interim President Adly Mansour has made sexual harassment punishable by up to five years of jail time. The penalties increase if the perpetrator is in a position of authority over the victim, or possesses a weapon. Previously, sexual harassment laws were vaguely labeled as “indecent assaults” that would be hard for even the most skilled New York sexual harassment attorneys to prove.

According to this new law, sexual harassment would be defined as anyone “seeking to achieve an interest of a sexual nature.” This includes sexual hints and covers verbal attacks, signs made and outright acts committed in public or private arenas. Fines will range between three and five thousand Egyptian pounds (approx. $420-$700 American dollars).

While everyone agrees that this decree is a step in the right direction, many feel it is not nearly enough to enact any actual changes. First of all, the law does not explain how authorities will make harassers accountable. Secondly, there is a two witness requirement to prosecute. Lastly, the harasser must be present when the charges are pressed. When combined, most sexual harassment lawyers agree that enacting justice for these women will still be nearly impossible.

The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760 or toll-free at 1-877-4NYLAWS or email at dtslaws@msn.com.

 

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