Via The Voice of Russia:
“[A new group called] RosNahal which roughly translates to “brazen Russian”… is responsible for a viral Russian internet campaign which forced politicians in the Duma to take notice. The group held pickets near the State Duma and released a video showing the kind of unwanted attention and sometimes offensive advances that Russian women face on a daily basis.
Thanks to their efforts, Russia’s ruling party has decided that Russia needs a separate article prosecuting sexual harassment in its administrative code while the logistics for enforcing and proving such offences are still up in the discussion. Russia’s ruling party has suggested a steep fine of up to 50,000 rub which is about 1,000£ to punish any would-be sexual harassers. Olga Tarasova, an expert in social issues at the Higher School of Economics believes it’s a good time for a new law on sexual harassment….
‘I fully support the initiative of Russian authorities to punish those men who offend, intimidate and harass women in the streets. First of all, any physical contact should be strictly prohibited. And that concerns especially grabbing. And second of all, if a woman refuses to have a conversation with a man in the street, he should not be too persistent and should never call her names, because that’s really offensive.’
…. For now, female right groups in Russia will be waiting to see whether the Duma’s promised act on unwanted harassment comes to pass and just how it can be implemented.”
I am stunned that thanks to the efforts of these activists, Russian politicians are actually considering a law! And their video has garnered more than one million views in just two weeks!!
I visited the group’s website to learn more. This is a google translation of the text on the homepage:
“Sexual harassment on the streets and public places by men in Russia is becoming more acute…Often, annoying dialogue turns into abuse in rough shape, and in some cases reaches up to battering.
In many countries, molestation of women is a crime….For example, in Belgium, from 1st September 2012 came into force a law allowing any fine, allowing themselves obscene remarks against women in the street. A person who ignores the new rules will have to pay $ 250 euros.
In Russia, the teasing and harassment of girls also is problematic. Over recent years the number of such incidents is increasing, and increasingly has a negative outcome. Millions of women every day are victims of stalking and unwanted attention from men. And girls often behave very diplomatic, polite and reasonable answer questions, trying to explain to them that they are not willing to continue the dialogue….The vulnerability and insecurity of women from unpleasant and dangerous contacts are important and serious problems that can lead to rape or murder.
To date, the current version of Art. 213 of the Criminal Code “hooliganism” is as follows:
Hooliganism, that is a gross violation of the public order, expressing a clear disrespect for society, committed:
a) the use of weapons or objects used as weapons;
b) on the grounds of political, ideological, racial, ethnic or religious hatred or enmity or hatred or hostility toward a social group – is punished by a fine of three hundred thousand to five hundred thousand rubles or in the amount of wages or other income convicted for a period of two to three years, or by compulsory works for a term of up to four hours, or by corrective labor for a term of one year to two years, or hard labor for a term not exceeding five years, or imprisonment for the same term.
The same act committed by a group of persons by prior conspiracy or by an organized group or associated with resistance to authorities or to any other person acting for the protection of public order or suppress violations of public order, – shall be punishable by a fine of five hundred thousand to one million rubles or in the amount of wages or other income for a period of three to four years, or hard labor for a term not exceeding five years, or imprisonment for up to seven years.
The proposed addition of Article 213 of the Criminal Code be amended as follows:
Addition of Article 213 (Criminal Code):
3. Hooliganism, that is a gross violation of the public order, expressed in public actions of disrespect to the woman:
a) acts in public actions expressed contempt for a woman;
b) the use of funds or objects used as weapons in public acts of disrespect to the woman;
c) by hatred or hostility toward women, – shall be punishable by a fine of from thirty to fifty thousand rubles, or by compulsory works for a term of up to four hours, or hard labor for a term of 1 year.”
I am energized by their efforts. And somehow, given the Cold War years and deep competition between the USSR and the USA, I find it ironic that there is a very real possibility that Russia may have a law against street harassment before the United States ever considers one.Share on Facebook