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The United Nations in Egypt commends the newly approved anti-sexual harassment law that is added as an amendment to the Egyptian penal code. The amendment is very encouraging as it defines “sexual harassment” for the first time in Egypt’s history. This law represents a major step towards achieving safety of Egyptian women and girls in public spaces. This law is a concrete result of combined efforts by the Egyptian government together with civil society and UN agencies.

The United Nations in Egypt also welcomes the new President’s inaugural speech highlighting the important role of Egyptian women. Harassment is a human rights violation and a threat to the safety and freedom of women and girls, preventing their full engagement in public life. Women and girls have the right to live a life free from all forms of violence in accordance with Egypt’s Constitution and the commitments made by the Government of Egypt to United Nations international conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The United Nations in Egypt will continue its efforts to support the proposed legislative changes, procedures and regulations that should emanate from the newly approved law to ensure that the law is enforced and life for women and girls is made safer.