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Sexual Offences Bill was in bad taste

By The Standard | February 17th 2017 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill 2016 met resistance in Parliament on Tuesday this week when male MPs ganged up to block its passage.

But while the Bill specifically sought to protect girls from sexual harassment, it was couched in such obfuscation it was difficult to draw the line between say, accidental body contact between members of the opposite sex in public transport and a deliberate indecent action.

Indeed, the rejection did not come as a surprise because aside from the element of mischief so apparent in the Bill, it targeted to punish the boy child.

The rule on indecency in dressing failed to take into account some cultural norms as some MPs rightly argued. This would therefore have antagonised whole sections on the matter of dressing where no part of the body except the hands, feet and face is exposed.

This Bill should be redrawn so as to take into consideration opposing views, and not just aim to punish one gender.

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