Tourism Ministry gives new proposals for anti-harassment law
Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou - YOUM7/Hussien Tallal

CAIRO: The Ministry of Tourism presented Friday proposals for an anti-harassment draft law currently under review by the president, reported the state-owned news agency MENA.

Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said “the ministry presented to the presidency its proposals on how we can combat the phenomenon of sexual harassment from the position of tourism.”

He added that the draft law would essentially criminalize any act that could be seen as sexual harassment behavior targeting tourists, whether verbally or physically.

Zaazou revoked the licenses of two hotels along the Red Sea on March 25, after a British woman was allegedly raped by a security guard in a five-star hotel in Sharm el-Sheikh. In a separate incident in late March, a Russian tourist was allegedly by a police officer in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Zaazou told Sada Al-Balad on April 1 that the ministry will release a decision that would require all hotels and resorts to install security cameras in addition to organizing educational courses for tourism employees to enhance dialogue with tourists.

Egypt has witnessed an increase in sexual harassment in the recent years, which drove the government to toughen punishment measures.

Regarding amendments to the sexual harassment law, Secretary General for the National Council for Women (NCW) Margret Azer told The Cairo Post on March 25 “we need to toughen punishment against these crimes.”

After the amendment, it is expected that detention for sexual harassment will be no less than one year and will not exceed 10 years, with a fine of more than 10,000 EGP and less than 20,000 EGP.

The Institute Of National Planning, Cairo Demographic Center and NCW released a study in 2012 about sexual harassment, which states that 65.2 percent of sexual harassment happens in Cairo and Alexandria.

91.3 percent of students, 66.1 percent of female workers, 46.5 percent housewives and 29.9 percent of tourists suffer from harassment, according to the study.

48 percent said sexual harassment increased after the 2011 revolution, 59.5 percent said the harassment they faced was by touching, and 49.2 percent said sexual harassment happens daily.

72.6 percent of males in the study said women’s clothing is one of the main reasons for harassment while 39 percent said they will beat the harasser.

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