The Cyprus parliament on Thursday passed three bills that establish a legislative framework criminalizing sexism and one law that seeks to tackle bullying and intimidation at schools.
The three bills on sexism, tabled by the MPs Skevi Koukouma (Akel), Annita Demetriou (Disy) and Christiana Erotokritou (Diko) passed with 43 votes in favour.
The new laws provide for the criminalization of any publicly expressed forms of sexism against a person or a group of persons.
Sexism and sexist behaviour are also punishable through international conventions and recommendations, so as to deal with unacceptable phenomena that reduce, offend, isolate and promote discrimination against a person or group of persons. Online sexism is also a private offense.
Disy MP Annita Demetriou said that the law provides not only for the criminalization of sexism but also the corresponding education that must be provided.
Akel’s parliamentarian Skevi Koukouma said that the legislative recognition of sexism and sexist rhetoric was a turning point for Cyprus, while MP Christiana Erotokritou spoke of an historic day.
The plenary session also unanimously passed a law that establishes mechanisms to prevent and deal with bullying and intimidation at schools.
Each school will be required to set up a special committee dealing with these issues and to prepare an action plan.