QC cracks down on catcalls, other forms of harassment

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Quezon City government has passed an ordinance to reduce catcalling and other forms of street-level sexual harassment against women.

In its Gender and Development ordinance, people caught making disparaging remarks or stalking women around the city would be fined from P1,000 to P5,000 and jailed from one day to one year.

City administrator Aldrin Cuña said in a report over GMA News Online that Quezon City is the first to impose fines, penalties and imprisonment for making catcalls.

“Harassing a woman or a girl in public... catcalling, when one calls you ‘Miss Beautiful’ or says ‘let me kiss you’ or ‘you are sexy’ – these already comprise slight offenses,” Cuña said.

Considered medium violations are stalking and making suggestive gestures, such as winking at women.

Cuña said women who feel they are the ones alluded to may file their complaints with the women’s desk of any nearby police station.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

UN Ambassador for Safe Cities Glaiza de Castro said women must take care of themselves and report the harassment to discourage such behavior.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista is expected to sign the ordinance within the month to allow its official enforcement.

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