Saturday, June 25, 2011

Colombian women go on sex strike to improve roadway

A direct translation of this report from Colombia's El Tiempo last night:

Women protest with "Sex Strike" due to bad state of road
As placards and marches have done no good, a group of women in the town of Barbacoas (Nariño) have decided to run a protest they have called "Crossed Legs Strike" to change the attitude of indifference of the town's men about the state of the only road that connects them to the rest of Colombia

The protest, that started Wednesday, consists in not having sexual relations with their husbands or permanent partners in this locality in the coast of Nariño province, where the population lives via mining, fishery and agriculture.

Maribel Silva, a judge in Barbacoas and promoter of the protest, said, "We feel forced to call to attention to the region's men the general situation of submission that they have assumed in Barbacoas, and also to protest to the government for better attention for the difficult social situation in which we live".

She said that the abstinence from sex is looking to force their men to speak out and define a limit date for the start of paving works for the section of the road between Junín and Barbacoas.

This road has taken many lives. We have been witness over the years to the enormous needs that our municipality has and the grave lack of development where we live", Silva said.

The National Institute of Roads (Invías) last year authorized the work to the Nº 3 Batallion of Engineers, to whom they gave a limit date of July 1st 2011 to start the work, but the protesters say that in the last meeting they said they were waiting to receive orders, that tenders had to be opened and studies done. "Therefore we know that it's not going to happen because the machinery or the workforce hasn't even arrived yet," added Silva.

According to Colombia Quiñónez, one of the women leading the protest, "We cannot say until when the women of Barbacoas will stay with their legs crossed, but we will do so until we are given a guarantee that the work will happen."

And the judge added that the town's men have already adopted a different attitude and now say that "a hunger strike is preferable to a sex strike."