Sexual harassment is a widespread form of VAWG, and it occurs across all societies regardless of their cultural or socioeconomic contexts. Sexual harassment is generally criminalized in the penal codes of the index countries, but often as an “immoral” and “indecent” behaviour and not as a form of VAWG.
The definition of harassment as an act against a woman’s will is rarely present. It is mentioned in the Jordanian and the Palestinian penal code, where it is referred to as “non-consensual sexual intercourse”, while it is linked to “public indecency” in Algeria and Egypt. On the other hand, Lebanon adopted in December 2020 a new law on sexual harassment, criminalizing all forms of sexual harassment.
Only in Morocco labour laws clearly criminalize sexual harassment in the workplace. In Jordan, where sexual harassment is prohibited, an employee can resign without notifying the employer if they are victims of a sexual assault from the employer, but they are not protected if the assault is perpetrated by another employee.