Argentina’s Lower House will vote on a bill to criminalise street harassment during one of its first sessions of the legislative year.
The bill to criminalise street harassment, which passed committee level this week, could see perpetrators fined anywhere from 3,000 to 30,000 pesos.
“Our objective is to educate and create consciousness about certain behaviour”, Criminal Legislation Committee president Gabriela Burgos said.
The bill is but just one of a number of measures aimed at addressing gender-based issues like violence and inequality in the labour market. Like a number of incoming abortion liberalisation bills, these measures enjoy multi-party support.
In the first sessions of the year, lawmakers will also look at a bill to strengthen laws surrounding child pornography.
People found to share or commercialise sexual images containing minors could face three to six-year prison sentences, a separate bill determines.
But the national government led by President Mauricio Macri has its eyes on Congress for other reasons.
Earlier this year, the government’s legislative coalition lodged a number of bills before Congress to formalise measures laid out in a decree package signed off in January.
The decree package, largely aimed at reducing the country’s bureaucracy, caused controversy at the time, with some within government circles — including firebrand lawmaker Elisa Carrió — saying it had undermined the role of Congress.