1 Aug 2012

Tahiti assembly member welcomes harassment law

5:15 pm on 1 August 2012

An assembly member in French Polynesia says legislation making sexual harassment a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in jail will help women to be respected for their work.

The new law, which also provides for a fine of up to 55,000 US dollars, was rushed through both houses of parliament in France to appease public anger as the repeal of the original legislation in May saw all suits going through the courts being dropped.

The law will also come into force in New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna.

Sabrina Birk says she believes the legislation will make a difference for working people.

"We are in a macho world. When working, there are abuses, and hopefully, women will be respected for their work and their competence, and not be harassed for what they look like, how they dress, and they will be respected as working women."

French assembly member, Sabrina Birk.