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INSIDECOSTARICA.COM | COSTA RICA  NEWS |         Sunday 14 August 2011

"Slut Walk" In Costa Rica Today

As it has been done in Canada where it all began and then in Great Britain, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras and Argentina, a group of women will be hitting the street to protest against violence in the first ever "slut walk" in Costa Rica.


"La Marcha de la Putas", as it is called in Spanish, has nothing to do with the ladies of the night, but rather a group of women who deplore violence in general, violence against their gender and the treatment of women.

The movement has picked up steam using the social media like Facebook to get the word out and call on all women to come out in support.

Montserrat Sagot, a university professor and feminist leader, says that more than 3.000 women have confirmed their support.

The women will gather in front of the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral) in downtown San Josť and will be on the streets for at least two hours.

The Slut Walk by Feminists is also to defy the Catholic Church in Costa Rica, who are angered by remarks on August 2 from senior Catholic clerics during a ceremony in Cartago honouring Costa Rica's patron saint, the Virgen de los Angeles.

At the event, Bishop Josť Francisco Ulloa called on women to dress "modestly" to not be "dehumanized" and "objectified."

"The sexual gift that God gave women is wrapped in love and fidelity for its ultimate purpose: fertilization," Ulloa said.

President Laura Chinchilla and other top church and government officials were also at the event.

Mexican Cardinal Francisco Robles, representing Pope Benedict XVI, said at the ceremony that a woman's mission "does not consist in emulating men, but rather in creating a more humane world by exercising creativity in the household."

Robles urged women to enter public life "without imitating men," and to strengthen their role at home as mothers and family members.

The statements were like gasoline poured on a fire on Costa Rican social media websites.

he "Slut Walk" is being pushed mostly by young women "who are outraged and feel the need to answer the conservative priests," Sagot said.

"The mandate from the (Catholic) church for women to act with modesty and decency is the same conservative message that intends to blame women for the abuses of which they are victims," Sagot said.

"Slut Walks" have become a global phenomenon to protest against sexual violence. The event usually involves women dressed in skimpy clothing who march to challenge the idea that victims of sexual assault should be blamed for the crimes against them.

Sagot is the author of several books including "When Violence Against Women Kills: Femicide in Costa Rica."




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