Interim President Adly Mansour has issued a decree making sexual harassment a crime in Egypt for the first time.
Friday’s decree said it is now illegal to “accost people by implying sexual or obscene gestures in any manner including modern means of communication,” CNN reported If the harassment does not involve any “aggravating factor,” it is now punishable by a minimum of six months in jail.
Furthermore, if the antagonist is “in a position of authority over the victim,” the penalty is a minimum of two years in prison.
Street harassment is pervasive, with 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women reporting incidents, according to a 2008 study by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights.
Around half of those surveyed said they had been harassed on a daily basis.
Mansour is set to hand over the government to the newly elected president, former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who won 96.91% of the vote in the May 26-26 presidential election, and is due to be inaugurated on Sunday.