Ken Rodrigo, Makati City, Philippines, SSH Blog Correspondent

Enacted last May, the ‘Anti-Catcalling Ordinance’ intends to protect and empower women by imposing a fine and prison term for acts constituting sexual harassment in public spaces.

With the same penalties as light, medium violations include stalking, making offensive mouth, hand or body gestures with intention to demean or threaten a woman.

Victims may file a complaint at the women’s desk of police precincts or seek assistance by calling the Quezon City Police Department (QCPD) hotline.

The attention gained by the ordinance allowed Filipinos to discuss the important yet neglected issue of street harassment.

Next, the national government should include street harassment in its human rights agenda in order to meaningfully promote safe cities and public spaces throughout the country.

Ken is a teacher of international studies at a university in Manila.

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