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Anti-harassment laws 'urgent need'

JEDDAH: Shoura Council members and law experts have called for the immediate adoption of anti-harassment regulations.
According to a local media report, Lubna bint Abdul Rahman Al-Ansari, a member of the Shoura Council, said: “The issue of harassment is prevalent in all societies. However, the negative effects of harassment need strict laws to bring the criminals to book.”
She said: “I was one of the eight members who submitted an anti-harassment proposal at a Shoura Council meeting, but it was rejected. Harassment does not take place only at work; women have been harassed in markets and parks. There is a need to understand the various dimensions of harassment and adopt tougher measures to curb this menace."
Maimona Mirza, an educationist, said: “There are statistics which clearly reveal that the rate of harassment against women has gone up. This affects all women, those who cover their faces and those who do not.”
She added: “There are many reasons for this obnoxious behavior; one of them is the lack of education among young people who busy themselves harassing women. The other reason is the delayed age of marriage for both genders.”
Speaking to Arab News, Suhaila Zainul Abideen of the National Society for Human Rights, said that NSHR has tried to play a positive and supportive role in the society’s quest to adopt anti-harassment regulations. “At NSHR, we monitors harassment cases and prod victims to report such cases to government agencies for remedial action.”

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