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Costa Rica plans 'Slut Walk' to defy Catholic clerics

11 august 2011, 11:17
0
The participants of Slut walk, London, UK. ©Reuters
The participants of Slut walk, London, UK. ©Reuters
Costa Rica women have scheduled the country's first "Slut Walk" to protest a call by senior Catholic clerics for women to stop imitating men and to dress modestly, AFP reports, citingan organizer Wednesday.

Montserrat Sagot, a university professor and feminist leader, said that protesters will rally on Sunday outside San Jose's Metropolitan Cathedral.

Feminists are angered by remarks on August 2 from senior Catholic clerics during a ceremony in the city of Cartago honoring Costa Rica's patron saint, the Virgin of the Angeles.

At the event, with some two million faithful in this overwhelmingly Catholic nation present, Bishop Jose 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.

The "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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