Buenos Aires fines public sex harassment
BUENOS AIRES – Agence France-PresseAuthorities in the Argentinian capital will fine people up to $60 for sexual harassment in public places under a new law.
The bill was passed in the city legislature on Dec. 7 in Buenos Aires, where casual sexual harassment is common and traditionally widely tolerated.
It sets fines for “direct or indirect sexual comments referring to a person’s body, photographs and recordings of a person’s private parts taken without consent, undue or non-consensual physical contact, pursuing and cornering; and public masturbation and indecent exposure.”
Argentina’s current President Mauricio Macri, when he was mayor of the city, once claimed in a broadcast that women like to be told: “What a nice ass you have.”
The lawmaker behind the new bill, Pablo Ferreyra, said: “Some forms of sexual harassment in public are accepted as a traditional part of our culture. That should not be a reason to tolerate this abuse.”
Statistics from the non-government group Casa del Encuentro indicate that women are killed by sexist violence in Argentina at a rate of nearly one a day.
The country was shocked in October by the rape and killing of a 16-year-old girl whose attackers impaled her on a spike.
That case sparked mass protests in various Latin American countries to demand action against domestic abuse and misogynistic violence.
During the latest protest in Argentina on Nov. 26, Macri received relatives of victims of sexist violence at the presidential palace.