Street Harassment
photo: Corbis

Argentine lawmakers are drafting legislation that would criminalize street harassment, meaning men could soon be fined for catcalling. A groundswell of response from the national campaign, “Ni Una Menos” (Not One Less), which protests violence against women in Argentina, put major pressure on authorities to pass the groundbreaking law.

Protester Aixa Rizzo’s YouTube video chronicled her street harassment and her belief that it’s linked to physical abuse against women and hit a nerve with lawmakers. Under this new bill, women can report harassment they’ve experienced and their complaint would be reviewed by a judge, who will decide whether or not the violator should be punished. We’d love to see this kind of law implemented in the states, especially in big cities like NYC, Chicago, L.A., Dallas, and Miami. Imagine how great it would feel to be able to walk down the street in your cutest summer dress and know that not a single creepy man would dare say anything gross to you?

If you’re planning on traveling this summer, here are five countries with laws protecting women that you should consider visiting.

Peru

Men who hiss or whistle at women in Lima, Peru can spend 12 years behind bars. The new law, passed in March 2015 was implemented after a catcalling harassment video, Silbale a tu madre (Catcall your Mother) went viral.

Iceland

According to the World Economic Forum, Iceland is one of the most female-friendly countries on the planet. Dubbed a “feminist’s paradise,” Iceland has a list of laws aimed to protect women from sex crimes. In 2009 Iceland criminalized the purchase of sex, making prostitution illegal. They also banned strip clubs the following year in efforts to prioritize gender equality.

Nicaragua

Law 779  also known as “La Ley,” was passed in June 2012 and includes sections regarding catcalling that benefit everyone, even visitors to the country. Because so many people are aware of the law, all a woman has to say is, “la ley” to get a catcaller to back off. It’s meant to protect women from all sorts of public harassment.

France

In 2012, France passed a bill that made sexual harassment a criminal offense. Violators face up to two years in jail for harassing a woman and can receive a fine of up to 30,000 euros (close to $37,000).

Argentina

Argentina’s proposed law would protect women from both physical and verbal street harassment. Although we still have a long way to go, it’s encouraging to see countries implementing laws that can help women feel safer. We’re hoping this triggers not only a decrease in violence against women in Argentina but stirs a movement around the world!