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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Mexican women break silence over sexual harassment on metro in Mexico City

Simply getting to work has become an uncomfortable experience of sexual harassment for many women riding Mexico's metro, and they have started speaking out. In 2014, a YouGov poll ranked Mexico City's metro as the worst for verbal and physical harassment. A reported 9 out of 10 women have been victims of some type of sexual violence in their daily transfers in the Mexican capital.

Yuri Gonzalez is a hair stylist and uses the packed Mexico City metro to open up her salon. A reported 5 million people use the metro in the capital on a daily basis, giving men a cover of anonymity to touch women and make comments when on packed carriages. Machismo is often blamed for such sexual harassment in Mexico City, with the patriarchal role of men still heavy set in Latin American society.

Furthermore, there is a perception of immunity from victims of sexual harassment. According to the United Nations, some 15 percent of sex crimes against women are reported. Of those, only 5 percent go to trial. Isis Alvarez is an insurance sales person who uses Mexico City's metro to meet with clients. She does not use heels on the metro for fear of attracting the leers of male passengers.


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