Oaxaca Congress classifies beauty pageants as a form of violence against women

Once again, the local Congress of the state of Oaxaca caused a stir after classifying beauty pageants and contests that promote sexist stereotypes or discriminate physical characteristics as symbolic violence.

Symbolic violence describes a type of non-physical violence manifested in the power differential between social groups.

This was announced by the legislative body, thus, Article 18 Bis of the State Law on Women’s Access to a Life Free of Gender Violence was added.

The use of public resources in pageants and contests where the physical characteristics of girls, adolescents, and women are evaluated are now prohibited.

In addition to this, the reform prevents government institutions from considering these events as tourist promotion campaigns or official advertising.

The prohibition applies to municipalities, state agencies as well as autonomous bodies, who may not allocate official advertising or subsidies for the promotion of these activities.

The Congress in Oaxaca is known for promoting laws that benefit minorities and groups at risk, such as the case of what happened last August, when the state became the first nationwide ruling girls, boys, and adolescents can access the administrative procedure for the recognition of their gender identity. Although there were already seven other states in the country that allowed the change, Oaxaca became the first to open the procedure to minors.

The initiative was presented by the deputy for Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Magali López, who currently chairs the Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the State Congress. In addition, the legislator also promoted the law that prohibits the sale of high-calorie foods and beverages to minors, as well as the legalization of gay marriage.

In 2019, the state became the second entity, after Mexico City, to legalize abortion until the 12th week of gestation. With this modification, the local legislative power sought to initiate an important change for access to reproductive health and women in the region.

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