Trailblazing women’s rights drive unveiled

STRONG MESSAGE: Consent is not an assumption, say campaigners.

THE Costa del Sol continues its unremitting quest for gender and sexual equality, with the area’s first-ever official campaign addressing sexual aggression towards women set to be launched on August 1.

Over 2,000 residents have been voting on social media in order to select the poster which will front the pioneering drive, with the central slogan having now been tweaked from “No means no” (Spanish: No significa no) to “No es no” (No is no) following an outpouring of public support for the latter version.

Having initially designed the crusade with Malaga City’s feria in mind, organisers have wisely agreed that the offensive should be extended to the entire province, with promotional materials already redesigned to reflect the amplified goals and prospective year-round use.

The forward-thinking campaigners will distribute posters and branded handheld fans to registered partnerships, while publicity will also be installed in women’s associations, police stations, social centres, bus shelters and on public transport, with a number of radio and television spots also lined up.

Director of Social Rights, Ruth Sarabia, stressed that sexual attacks can occur at any time during large events, citing the recent spate of incidents at Pamplona’s festival of San Fermin, which was marred by reports of harassment and sexual violence as 16 men were arrested in just a few days.

The poster chosen to lead the campaign appeals to the cosmopolitan makeup of the Costa’s community, since it features five women of different nationalities each saying “No” in their respective languages, with Arabic to be added following a request from the Moroccan Association of Malaga.

The central theme of “No is no” is that simple verbal refusal is sufficient, that a woman does not have to demonstrate physical resistance to be the victim of a crime, and that sexual violence has no place in a society striving to consign a traditionally sexist, patriarchal culture to the past.

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