officials can be considered sexual harassers even if their victims do
not reject them, according to a bill authorized for its first reading by
the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women Wednesday.
MK Michal Roisin's bill is an amendment to the Law to Prevent Sexual
Harassment, which lists different kinds of relationships in which
propositioning someone or making sexual comments is considered
harassment even if the victim did not express opposition to it.
reasoning is that in a dependent relationship or when one person has
power over the other, the victim may be afraid to say no to the
Roisin added public workers and
elected officials to that list, even though they may not have an
employer-employee relationship with the victim, because their power and
influence could intimidate a victim and make her unable to express
"Sexual harassment by a public worker is equal to sexual harassment by someone
with authority [in a workplace]," Roisin said. "Even the head of the
water department at a municipality, for example, has power over women
whose water was disconnected because they're in debt."
expressed hope that the amendment will bring justice to public workers
who take advantage of their authority for sexual ends.