Sexual harassment, which apparently had been legal in China, is now on its way to becoming a crime, according to Xinhua:
The draft amendment to China’s Law on Women’s Right Protection, with provisions to ban sexual harassment, was submitted to the nation’s top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), on Sunday for first deliberation.
According to the draft amendment, no one shall be allowed to subject women to sexual harassment and all work units shall take measures against sexual harassment in working places.
The move comes after a survey by Sina.com and Chat magazine that showed that 79 percent of female respondents had been subjected to sexual harassment, compared to 22 percent of men. Another survey, conducted by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, found that 40 percent of women working for foreign or private companies were victims of sexual harassment, while that figure was “merely 18 percent” — Xinhua’s wording — at state-owned enterprises.
Xinhua paraphrased Wu Changzhen, a professor who headed the team that drafted the amendment, as saying “although sexual harassment was not as severe as rape, it could bring physical injury and emotional pressure. In the serious situation, sexual harassment sufferers will lose love-making ability and become world-weary.”
Since 2001, according to Xinhua, only 10 sexual harassment cased have been brought before the courts in China. And in only one of those cases the plaintiff won.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, however, it still appears to be legal to harass — and assault — people who aren’t happy their homes are being demolished. (Same thing in Chongqing.)
Photo borrowed from Alan Burton Newman: A Professional Law Corporation.