Egypt criminalizes sexual harassment
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 1421 GMT (2221 HKT)
- Law makes it illegal to accost people by "implying sexual or obscene gestures"
- Minimum detention ranges from 6 months to 2 years, depending on aggravating factors
- U.N. report had found that 99.3% of Egyptian women have experienced sexual harassment
- Anti-harassment campaigner: Law is a "first step in the right direction"
Many stories involving horrific violence against women have been making headlines recently. CNN TV will be broadcasting live from The International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict Summit in London on Tuesday at 1930 CET, and taking a closer look at stories involving sexual violence against women in Egypt, Nigeria, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
(CNN) -- Egypt's outgoing interim president issued a decree criminalizing sexual harassment to combat the widespread abuse of women in the country, a spokesman said Friday.
President Adly Mansour issued the country's first law that explicitly uses the term "sexual harassment," a statement from his office reads. The law makes the offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of 50,000 Egyptian pounds.
The decree starts with a baseline prohibition, making it illegal to accost people by "implying sexual or obscene gestures" in any manner, "including modern means of communication." Absent any aggravating factor, the crime is punishable by at least six months of detention.
If the harassment is made with "the intent of receiving sexual gratification from the victim," the minimum detention rises to one year.
Egypt's new president faces challenges
Why are Egypt's sexual crimes unreported?
Egypt: Women after the revolution
And if the offender holds "a position of authority over the victim," whether social or professional, the minimum imprisonment is two years, the law reads.
A 2013 United Nations report entitled "Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women" found that 99.3% of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment.
Fathi Farid, a founder of Egypt's "I Saw Harassment" campaign against sexual violence, said the law "is a first step in the right direction, but we believe that a revision is needed to strengthen the decree."
Farid cited a lack of protection for eyewitnesses, judicial discretion in issuing punishment, and inadequate protection against gang assaults as points of weakness for the law.
Still, Farid said the law "will give women greater trust in the government and encourage victims that may have been afraid in the past to file complaints to the police against perpetrators."
He added that it will take time to assess whether the law will actually be applied by authorities.
Former Egyptian military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is due to succeed Mansour after winning last month's presidential election. Mansour was declared the acting president after the ouster of Mohamed Morsy last July.
READ: Mob sex assaults on women overshadow Egyptian inauguration
READ: Is Egypt in the midst of a sexual harassment epidemic?
READ: Rapping for respect: Meet the 18-year-old singer standing up for women in Egypt
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1521 GMT (2321 HKT)
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1935 GMT (0335 HKT)
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT)
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.