Women face sexual harassment inside the Mexican government

In the last year, Mexican women have protested against all forms of gender violence

Women face sexual harassment inside the Mexican government
Several government officials have been accused of sexual harassment - Photo: César Gómez/EL UNIVERSAL
English 17/02/2020 09:23 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:31
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The #MeToo movement has been used to denounce sexual harassment and abuse at home, school, and at work. Women from all countries have organized feminist protests; in Mexico, women have protested in several states and at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). These demonstrations have given visibility to femicide and violence against women, however, the eradication of gender violence is nowhere near. Moreover, these crimes take place everywhere, including government offices.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL reveals that in 219, 84 government departments investigated sexual harassment cases after 365 women reported the crimes. The attacks were perpetrated by workers from all levels, from messengers, operational staff, and directors.

The majority of harassment cases took place at the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), where workers filed 65 reports. The IMSS is followed by the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) and the Educational Ministry, where 47 reports were filed in each institution. Authorities are investigating 358 officials but at least 48% of them are still working at the government departments.

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Although those accused have the right to a hearing and a defense team, they have to be punished. If these heinous crimes are not punished, it will set a precedent and these types of behaviors will bee seen as normal. It is expected that the federal government solves these cases.

In recent days, an official from the Foreign Affairs Ministry was removed after several women reported him. This month, a UNAM student was charged with revenge porn after taking pictures of women in the university bathrooms. No harasser should go unpunished.

The commitment to eradicate inequality and to build protocols to protect women against gender violence has to lead to action. Changes have to be implemented now, as demanded by Mexican women.

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