Sexual harassment is extremely striictly monitored in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the Kingdom, those who have been found guilty face harsh consequences, and in some unique cases both the parties involved in the allegation have to face punishment. Exactly what classifies as sexual harassment is pretty clear in relevance to the law, however an addition has been made to the list of acts that classify as sexual harassment.
Judges in the KSA have stated that winking is a form of sexual harassment which can cause the winker to be landed in jail. According to the report made by the Makkah Daily, Ahmad Al Jaliti, who is a lawyer and a former judge, stated that such a practice is to be classified as highly unethical. Whenever a man winks at a woman or vice versa, in a public place, they are making plans to initiate an interaction that will ultimately lead to relationships which will be deemed as unlawful and Haram according to our religion. The former judge has although added that since winking is known to be an extremely trivial or unimportant act, it will only be considered an unlawful act or an act of sexual harassment when the man or woman repeatedly winks at the other in order to completely establish what he means by the act of winking.
If and when a man or woman wink at the other with extreme persistence, will face strict disciplinary action, may be issued a warning, face prison time and can also be obliged to complete certain number of hours of community service. Same or similar punishment is applicable to both men and women. The lawyer and former judge has added that in his own personal view, men should face a far more strict punishment than women. This is due to the fact that the actions done by men cause and create bigger consequences than those done by women.
Salman Al Habib, who is a family consultant and also a psychologist, has stated that the act of winking these days has become known as a signal for the opposite sex, and is often the first step in starting an unlawful relationship with the opposite sex. He added that according to his personal view, these actions should not be discriminated according to gender; however he also believes that when such acts have been performed by women they create bigger problems due to the fact that men are so quick to respond to their advances.
The psychologist has added that the act of winking is more popular amongst the younger generation, than it is amongst the more adult generations. It should be noted and realized by the people regardless of gender, creed or age that trivial acts such as winking should not turn into sexually oriented acts. Trivial acts such as these should be kept in the friend zone or any zone out of sexual harassment. People need to realize man and woman can be just friends or just talking casually.
Source: Saudi Gazette
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