SHANGHAI - Shanghai's city council has enacted China's first local law
clearly defining sexual harassment and allowing victims to sue, state media said
The measure says
harassment can include abuse conveyed verbally, in writing, or by pictures or
cell phone text messaging, as well as actual physical contact, according to
local newspapers and the Xinhua News Agency.
"Women victims have the right to complain to their employer or relevant
departments. Relevant departments and employers must take necessary measures to
prevent and stop sexual harassment toward women," Xinhua quoted the measure as
The statute elaborates on vague language included in a law on the protection
of women's rights passed by the national legislature in 2005. The lack of a
clear definition of harassment had made it extremely difficult to pursue cases.
The measure also bans employers from barring female employees from getting
married or becoming pregnant.