De Lima hopes catcalling, sexual harassment could soon be a thing of the past

Published June 4, 2019, 6:04 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Hannah Torregoza 

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday expressed hope that cat-calling and other forms of sexist slur and gender-based sexual harassment would soon be a thing of the past with the passage into law of the Safe Streets and Spaces Act.

Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Leila de Lima
(REUTERS / Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)

Also known as the “Bawal ang Bastos” bill, de Lima said the passage of the law was timely, as many women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have become more vulnerable to abuses and sexual harassment under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“No one is exempt from gender-based abuses nowadays which happen almost everywhere—from the streets, to schools, workplaces and digital platforms,” de Lima said in a statement.

“With this new law, public spaces can be a safer place for everyone, especially women and those of the LGBT as this piece of legislation can be their very weapon against abusers,” she said.

“Gone should be the days when people would just take sexist remarks or gestures as mere jokes, if not harmless,” she added.

It was Senator Risa Hontiveros, a fellow opposition senator, who principally authored the law. Other senators. who also filed the same measure included De Lima, Senators Grace Poe and Joel Villanueva, thereby, making them co-authors.

It lapsed into law last April 21 after Duterte failed to act on the bicameral conference committee report that was ratified in February.

De Lima, chair of the Senate committee on social justice and human rights, commended her colleagues in Congress for fighting against gender-based abuses by lobbying for the enactment into law of the said measure.

“I am proud of my colleagues who helped push for the passage of this bill into law. Our fight against violence and oppression brought about by patriarchy and sexism, though never ends here,” she said.

“We need to ensure that this new law will be implemented properly and will not exempt anyone from compliance—not even Mr. Duterte who is known for his misogynist remarks that are now consistently being used to lend humor to presidential speeches,” she pointed out.

Acts listed as gender-based streets and public spaces sexual harassment include cursing, catcalling, wolf-whistling, leering, taunting, misogynistic and sexist slurs, persistent telling of sexual jokes and use of sexual names, among others.

Also specified as unlawful acts were making offensive body gestures at someone, exposing private parts for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator and stalking, to name some.

Offenders, in this case, may receive graver punishment of imprisonment of up to a month and one day and up to six months under the law.

The stated acts may be punishable from community service of 12 hours up to arresto menor or 11 to 30 days imprisonment for the third offense.

 
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De Lima hopes catcalling, sexual harassment could soon be a thing of the past

Published June 4, 2019, 10:58 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Hannah Torregoza

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday expressed hope that catcalling and other forms of sexist slur and gender-based sexual harassment would soon be a thing of the past with the passage into law of the Safe Streets and Spaces Act.

FACING ARREST – Senator Leila de Lima is in fighting form in this photo taken at a press conference in the Senate last Tuesday. A regional trial court on Thursday ordered her arrest. (Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin)
Senator Leila de Lima (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Also known as the “Bawal ang Bastos” bill, de Lima said the passage of the law was timely, as many women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have become more vulnerable to abuses and sexual harassment under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“No one is exempt from gender-based abuses nowadays which happen almost everywhere—from the streets, to schools, workplaces and digital platforms,” de Lima said in a statement.

“With this new law, public spaces can be a safer place for everyone, especially women and those of the LGBT as this piece of legislation can be their very weapon against abusers,” she said.

“Gone should be the days when people would just take sexist remarks or gestures as mere jokes, if not harmless,” she added.

It was Senator Risa Hontiveros, a fellow opposition senator, who principally authored the law. Other senators. who also filed the same measure included De Lima, Senators Grace Poe and Joel Villanueva, thereby, making them co-authors.

It lapsed into law last April 21 after Duterte failed to act on the bicameral conference committee report that was ratified in February.

De Lima, chair of the Senate committee on social justice and human rights, commended her colleagues in Congress for fighting against gender-based abuses by lobbying for the enactment into law of the said measure.

“I am proud of my colleagues who helped push for the passage of this bill into law. Our fight against violence and oppression brought about by patriarchy and sexism, though never ends here,” she said.

“We need to ensure that this new law will be implemented properly and will not exempt anyone from compliance—not even Mr. Duterte who is known for his misogynist remarks that are now consistently being used to lend humor to presidential speeches,” she pointed out.

Acts listed as gender-based streets and public spaces sexual harassment include cursing, catcalling, wolf-whistling, leering, taunting, misogynistic and sexist slurs, persistent telling of sexual jokes and use of sexual names, among others.

Also specified as unlawful acts were making offensive body gestures at someone, exposing private parts for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator and stalking, to name some.

Offenders, in this case, may receive graver punishment of imprisonment of up to a month and one day and up to six months under the law.

The stated acts may be punishable from community service of 12 hours up to arresto menor or 11 to 30 days imprisonment for the third offense.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

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