When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

A town in southwestern Colombia is trying to clamp down on catcalling — "piropos' (compliments) as they're known locally — that is all too common in a country long plagued by machismo.

In a rare public move against sexist behavior, the mayor's office in Timbío, in the department of Cauca, recently issued a "non-binding" decree that prohibits public sector workers from calling out to women on the street, the Bogotá daily El Espectador reports. The measure was passed on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. "They must eliminate from their daily habits expressions that allude to the bodies, clothing or movements of women," it reads.

The ban specifically refers to "rude" comments, "things that might offend women," the town's mayor, Libardo Vásquez, told CNN en Español. "The other type, gallant compliments, have nothing to do with the decision." Vásquez also said that the measure is "pedagogical" rather than economic, meaning offenders will be called on to participate in sensitivity training but will not be fined.

As part of its anti-catcalling effort, Timbío also posted signs in several strategic locations — including the central market, bus station and football stadium — informing men that if they have to say something to women, "it should be agreeable, not offensive."

Gender specialist Catalina Ruiz-Navarro applauds the move and says that cultural measures, as opposed to penalties, are the only way to curb aggressive sexist attitudes.

Others, however, oppose the crackdown — as mild as it may be — and defend the practice of "piropos' as a harmless cultural tradition. Vásquez says he's even gotten flak from mayors in other Colombian communities who joke that Timbío is no longer a place people can go "to fall in love."

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!

Members of the search and rescue team from Miami search the rubble for missing persons at Fort Myers Beach, after Florida was hit by Hurricane Ian.

Sophia Constantino, Laure Gautherin, Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Shlamaloukh!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where North Korea reportedly fires a missile over Japan for the first time in five years, Ukrainian President Zelensky signs a decree vowing to never negotiate with Russia while Putin is in power, and a lottery win raises eyebrows in the Philippines. Meanwhile, Argentine daily Clarin looks at how the translation of a Bible in an indigenous language in Chile has sparked a debate over the links between language, colonialism and cultural imposition.

[*Assyrian, Syria]

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ