PSSST! PSSST! ... Laws coming to punish unwanted sexual advances
Sick and tired of the catcalls to which women are subjected, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, the minister with responsibility for gender affairs, has announced that tough sexual harassment laws will be instituted to protect women from unwelcomed advances.
"Some women and men are sexually harassed, even walking the street," Grange said in Parliament yesterday.
The minister, who did an example of a catcall by uttering "pssst", said that sexual harassment is "not a simple matter."
"It is a serious crime and we're moving to deal with it," Grange said.
She told the House of Representatives that the Sexual Harassment Bill has already gone to the Chief Parliamentary Council and some amendments have been made.
Protect all women
"It is now to be sent to the Legislation Committee. The amended bill, once approved by the Legislation Committee, will be brought back to Parliament this legislative year as we seek to protect all women and men from unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and crude sexual behaviours that affect quality of life by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment," Grange said.
She noted that, for a long time, the vulnerable have suffered the most harmful effects of sexual harassment, particularly at the workplace.