EspañolOn Thursday, on April 23, Argentinean Congresswoman Victoria Donda introduced a bill aimed at punishing and preventing acts of sexual harassment in public areas.
Donda received support for her bill from Buenos Aires mayoral candidate, and general secretary of the Freemen of the South Movement, Humberto Tumini, as well as from Aixa Rizzo, the young Argentinean woman whose YouTube video denouncing street harassment went viral in recent weeks.
The bill would establish fines ranging from AR$100 pesos (approx. US$7) to AR$7,000 ($547), and aims to protect anyone who “self-identifies as a woman” from verbal or physical harassment. Furthermore, the bill proposes a “National Week against Street Harassment” be commemorated yearly from April 12 to 18.
“This project is a way to draw attention to the issue of gender violence. Sexual abuse is violence,” Donda said. “The purpose of the bill is to kickoff a cultural shift, so that woman will no longer be objectified,” she added.
“The eradication street harassment depends on a cultural shift; that both men and women internalize the violence involved in this sort of harassment, and awareness is raised about the intimidation it produces.”
Raquel Vivanco, coordinator for Womean of the Latin American Matria (MUMALA), also lent her support to the bill. “Street harassment should be considered a crime, because women should not be intimidated and harassed. It does not only have to do with our privacy but also in the way it limits our free movement.”