In a long-awaited move, Egypt has promised to act tough on sexual harassment and bullying, according to Egyptian Streets.
This will reassure many as Cairo was dubbed, “the planet’s most dangerous city for women”. The Egyptian parliament approved government-drafted amendments to the penal codes which would mean that those who are found guilty of sex crimes in public or in a place of work would be serving at least 3 years jail time as well as being fined 300,000 Egyptian Pounds (8,942 Euros).
A report by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2017 concluded that Egypt’s capital was the most unsafe city in the world for women.
Also, the prison term was upped from 5 to 10 years if the suspect has authority over the victim.
Prior to the recent amendments, a person proven guilty of sexual harassment would be handed a prison sentence stretching from six months to five years in addition to receiving a fine of no more than 50,000 Egyptian pounds (1,490 Euros).
In a 2013 study carried out by UN Women, it found that 99% of Egyptian women had been sexually harassed, either verbally or physically.
Egyptian Parliament Speaker Hanafy El-Gebaly noted, “It is not enough to increase penalties for harassment and bullying; it is very important that the media play an active role in raising public awareness regarding the detrimental physical and psychological impact of these crimes,” .