A Mexican university has banned miniskirts and other “provocative clothing” in an effort to stop “provoking” violent attacks against women.
Héctor Melesio Cuen Ojeda, rector of the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, said that minskirts worn by many of the pupils are an invitation for attacks both inside and outside the university, according to El Universal.
He advised the women among the university’s 46,000 pupils to lower their skirts to knee-level.
The Mexican Catholic church has asked women not to wear “provocative clothing” or to get into “spicy” conversations or jokes with men, in order to avoid sexual assault.
“Si quieres evitar una agresión sexual… No uses ropa provocativa… Cuida tus miradas y tus gestos… No te quedes sola con un hombre, aunque sea conocido… No admitas pláticas o chistes picantes… Busca ayuda cuando sospeches una mala intención…”, señala la ficha.
Translation: “If you want to avoid sexual aggression….do not use provocative clothing…watch your glances…don’t be alone with a man, even if you know him…Don’t permit spicy chats or jokes… look for help when you suspect bad intentions….” (see the story in Spanish here)
The suggestion that women are responsible for the pervasive sexual aggression and violence in Mexico’s macho society is sure to provoke reaction from human rights activists, feminists and the general public.
Amnesty International in Mexico says that 1 in 4 Mexican women has suffered physical or sexual violence at the hand of their husbands, and that 82% of women who are victims of violence do not report it to the authorities. Although a law promising women a life free from violence was adopted by many states last year, no measures have been taken to enforce it, says the human rights group.
The story on the issue in the Mexican national newspaper El Universal has received more than 6,500 comments in response. Click here to read them, in Spanish.