Should NZ follow other countries and ban the wolf-whistle?

omg 21/09/2017

France is considering taking legislative steps to prevent street harassment of women - including banning wolf-whistles.

Surveys show virtually all French women have been harassed in public places, according to media reports. President Emmanuel Macron has promised to work on ending harassment. 

In a recent interview Ms Schiappa said that there was a legislative void in France between "consensual seduction, which is legal, and sexual assault, which is an offence". She said this void allows men to behave in a manner that women often found expressive. 

"You are a woman in an underground train. I am a man. I follow you. You get off the train. I get off. You get on another train. I get on too. I ask you for your telephone number. I ask again. I ask a third time. You feel oppressed. That is street harassment."

Only a few countries, including Belgium and Portugal, have introduced specific laws to counteract street harassment. The UK has broader laws targeting harassment in general.

Lawyers are divided about how to enact the new legislation, some saying that men should only be prosecuted if police witness the harassment, while other saying women should be able to file criminal lawsuits at a later date.