Catcalling and other forms of sexual harassment in Buenos Aires can now be punishable by a fine, the city council voted on Wednesday.
Transgressions including “direct or indirect comments referring to a person’s body” could warrant a fine of up to 1,000 pesos (over $60), BBC reports. The council voted unanimously to pass the bill, which will also create educational campaigns to make clear what constitutes harassment and how bystanders can intervene, Broadly reports.
“Some forms of sexual harassment in public are accepted as a traditional part of our culture,” Pablo Ferreyra, the lawmaker who supported the bill, said in remarks reported by the BBC. “That should not be a reason to tolerate this abuse.”
Other punishable crimes under the bill include non-consensual physical contact, indecent exposure, public masturbation and pursuing and cornering, AFP reports.
The measure is a victory for Argentina’s feminist activists, largely coinciding with the Ni Una Menos (Not One Less) movement. Calls for reform and addressing street harassment have increased since October, when 16-year-old Lucia Perez was raped and killed, prompting massive demonstration.
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