Senate OKs bill seeking to punish street-based harassment of women
The Senate has unanimously approved on third and final reading a measure that seeks to protect women from catcalling and other forms of street-based harassment.
Senate Bill No. 1558 was approved on the floor on Monday by 21 senators.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, immediately hailed the passage of the bill, calling it “a major push back” against what she called the “growing culture of misogyny and sexism in the country.”
“At a time when sexism and misogyny seem to be the new normal, this is an important victory for all women and LGBT persons,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“This is a major push back against street-based sexual harassment and the culture of sexism in the country. With this measure, we will reclaim the streets from sexual harassers and make them safe for all,” she said.
The bill will penalized the following acts — “catcalling, wolf-whistling, cursing, leering, groping, persistent requests for name and contact details and the use of words tending to ridicule on the basis of actual or perceived sex, gender expression, or sexual orientation and identity in public spaces.”
The senator said she hoped the bill would trigger “behaviorial change” among Filipinos.
“Through this measure, we hope to progressively change the people’s language habits, prevent different forms of gender-based harassment and convince the public of the positive effects of gender-sensitive expression,” she said.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives should pass and ratify the same measure before it could be transmitted to the President for signature. /atm
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